SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities say they have captured the alleged ringleader of a gang of smash-and-grab thieves dubbed the Lucky Lotto Bandit burglars because of their penchant for stealing lottery tickets.
The Mercury News of San Jose reported Thursday that 21-year-old Jared McEssy has already pleaded guilty to 32 break-ins of mostly smaller grocery stores throughout Northern California last year.
Three others have been arrested and police are seeking two additional suspects. Several of the suspects broke through the front gate of Travis Air Force Base while fleeing police last month prompting a brief lockdown.
The six men are suspected of using rocks to smash convenience store windows in the wee hours of the morning and stealing scratch off lottery tickets, cash and cigarettes from San Jose to the Sierra Nevada.