THOMASVILLE — A customer at a North Madison Street convenience store insisted to police he paid for a lottery ticket he did not receive. After reviewing store video, the responding officer agreed.

The customer told the officer he had just left L&G Food Mart, 510 North Madison, and gave the clerk $5 to purchase lottery tickets, but the clerk did not give him the tickets.

The victim told the officer the clerk insisted he had not been paid, and two other clerks in the store also told him he had not paid and would not receive the lottery tickets, a Thomasville Police Department incident report states.

The officer went to the store and talked to the clerk, Hargovan Patel, who said the man did not give him $5.

The office asked to see video footage of when the man was in the store and was told he would have to return.

The incident reports states a customer outside the store told the officer he made a purchase at the store in recent days, paid with a $20 bill and did not receive change, but the clerk instead he had given the customer change.

According to the report, the man received the change when he threatened to call law enforcement.

When the officer returned to look at the video, another clerk said the video has been viewed, and the store made a mistake by not giving the man the lottery tickets he purchased. The clerk blamed the situation on confusion.

The officer looked at the video and confirmed the first clerk took the man's $5 and did not give him lottery tickets, but took the money and returned the lottery tickets to a dispenser.

Confusion continued to surface as the reason for the situation.

The officer charged Patel with flim-flam and told him he could explain the confusion to a judge.

Patel, 66, was released on his own recognizance.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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