Words: Ellen Kenny
When the National Lotto and various scratch cards advertise “it could be you”, is that a promise or a threat?
It’s the classic rags to riches story: man steals scratch cards using a plastic gun, man wins 5,000 euros, man gets arrested when he cashes in said scratch card.
In January 2021, Wayne Sullivan from Artane took a taxi from his home to his local Spar. He asked the driver to do a U-turn and wait for him while he went into the shop.
According to the shop assistant on the night in question, Sullivan came in looking “nervous”. He placed a Dunnes for-life bag on the counter and passed her a note that said “Do not fuck up. Do not fuck up.”
Sullivan then flashed what looked like a gun in his pocket to the shop assistant. The woman said that at time, she thought the gun looked fake, but she wasn’t going to take any chances.
The shop assistant put 126 euros in Sullivan’s bag in cash and coins. After Sullivan expressed interest in the scratch cards, she also put in several ten euro scratch cards into the bag. Sullivan left calmly after that and got his taxi home, while the teller alerted the gards.
Gardaí used barcodes to trace any winning cards in Dublin. They found that, three days after the incident, Sullivan had cashed in a winning card at the GPO to the tune of 5,000.
The gardaí found that Sullivan had written his name and address on the back of the winning card. Hiding in plain sight isn’t always the brightest ideas.
126 euros is a modest steal, relatively. So you can imagine Sullivan’s shock when he used one of his stolen coins to scratch a stolen card and found out he had stolen 5,000 euros.
Unfortunately for Sullivan, he did not get to relish his winnings for long. Last Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to theft and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
At the trial, it was revealed that the gun was, in fact, plastic. Detective John John Delaney stated that he “wouldn’t rate Sullivan high on the list of criminal intelligentsia”. What a way to talk about the perfect crime.
As a cherry on top, the winning 5,000 euro scratch card was never even recovered. Chilling.
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