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Ex-Cheers worker pleads not guilty to stealing lottery tickets

A 28-year-old Austin woman has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $35,000 in lottery tickets while working at Cheers Liquor in Austin.

Cassandra Leanne Rodriguez appeared Thursday in Mower County District Court on one count of felony theft.

According to court records, the owner of Cheers Liquor approached police on March 29 with suspicions Rodriguez was stealing lottery tickets and brought video evidence and documentation.

On April 21, police interviewed Rodriquez, who admitted to taking $100 to $500 in lottery tickets per day while working about five days per week for two years.

She said she felt bad about the incidents, wanted to make it right and was seeking counseling.

On May 24, the Cheers owner told police she had audited the video surveillance footage from the store and estimated Rodriguez stole $35,228 in lottery tickets.

Video surveillance shows Rodriguez taking tickets and scanning them to see if they’re winners. In other videos, she prints Powerball tickets and puts them in her purse. The video cameras were powered off twice in March during her shifts, once for seven minutes and once for seven hours.

Rodriguez is scheduled for an Oct. 23 trial.