Crime

Here’s how a Choice employee tried to win the lottery. Hint: It’s not legal

Choice Cigarette Discount Outlet and gas station at 1320 East College Ave.
Choice Cigarette Discount Outlet and gas station at 1320 East College Ave. adrey@centredaily.com

A Choice Cigarette Discount Outlet employee admitted to stealing about $100 from the store daily for three months to play the lottery, according to State College police.

Christine Durkalec estimated she stole about $9,000 from the store. Store owners provided police with evidence for the alleged thefts of $5,739.71 from November to February.

Police said the 49-year-old from Centre Hall would ring up customers, complete the cash transaction and then cancel the transaction using the register’s error code. She would then take the money from that transaction and use it to play the lottery.

Durkalec is charged with one felony count of theft by unlawful taking.

She was arraigned before District Judge Casey McClain, who released Durkalec on her own recognizance pending her appearance at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

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