SURPRISE, Ariz — A suspect has been arrested in connection to four separate lottery ticket burglaries in Surprise, according to the Surprise Police Department.
The suspect, 31-year-old Chad Robert Essman, was taken into custody by the El Mirage Police Department, authorities said. An officer detained Essman after he watched the suspect turn in multiple lottery tickets and matched his description to an identity flyer given to police departments.
The first instance of the string of lottery ticket thefts took place at a Chevron on Jan. 25, police said. A witness chased the burglar attempting to get the tickets back.
After knocking one of the ticket display cases out, the witness was threatened by the burglar with a black firearm before the burglar fled.
Three other burglaries took place throughout February in Surprise, all involving a similar-looking man, authorities said. The thefts happened at Circle Ks around the same general area, all of which had security footage that was given to authorities.
Police were also notified that one of the stolen tickets was being redeemed at a QuickTrip, 30 minutes after one of the thefts happened, police said.
After being arrested, Essman was confirmed by authorities to be the individual in the security footage from the stores that were robbed, police said. The suspect was also carrying all of the shirts with him in a garbage bag upon arrest and was identified by the witness of the first burglary in a photo lineup.
Essman was charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary in the third degree.