A shop owner is suspected of running away with a customer's winning lottery ticket, police say
Authorities believe the shop owner stole the card — worth around $580,000 — but weren't able to find it on his person.
Police detained a tobacco shop owner who they believe stole a customer's winning lottery ticket and then booked a flight out of the country, Time reported.
The man was found by police at Rome's Fiumicino Airport on Sunday as he attempted to board a flight to the Canary Islands, but authorities have been unable to locate the ticket.
On Friday, a woman in her late 60s, had bought two "scratch and win" lottery cards at the shop, and one of them was the winning ticket with a prize of 500,000 euros ($580,000), according to the Associated Press.
The woman had handed over the winning ticket to a shop employee, who later passed it on to the owner for additional verification. According to Italian news reports, the owner did not return the ticket, but instead fled away on his scooter with the winning ticket, reported AP.
At the airport, authorities searched the man but did not find the winning ticket on him, according to AP.
The man was released on his own recognizance following the detainment, Time reported.
The Italian tax office that runs the lottery said it has blocked lottery ticket numbers sold at the shop to prevent the thief from cashing in the prize, per AP.
Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for the missing winning ticket.