MEYERSDALE (KDKA) — A local woman was hoping to strike it rich on scratch-off lottery tickets. Instead, she struck out when police say surveillance video revealed she was stealing the tickets from her employer.

For Meyersdale Police Officer Neil Berkley, arresting 54-year-old Linda Porter wasn’t easy.

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“It was tough,” he said. “It was tough because she’s a real nice lady.”

But Berkley was left with little choice after the owner of Tobacco Ally came to investigators accusing Porter, a store clerk, of stealing nearly $50,000 in scratch-off tickets while she worked at the smoke shop.

“The days Mrs. Porter worked, the numbers weren’t jiving, and were coming up short. Every shift she worked,” said Officer Berkley.

Store surveillance video allegedly shows Porter scratching off stolen tickets, winners were cashed and losers hit the trash.

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“She admitted to taking the tickets. She actually gave back some money from the tickets that won,” said Officer Berkley.

Porter is already on probation on a forgery conviction.

“I think after a while of getting away with it, she thought no one is watching, no one is checking. That’s the only explanation I have,” said Officer Berkley.

Porter remains free on $10,000 bond. She has a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 13.

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