Police are looking for two men who are accused of conning three Forest Acres businesses out of about $100 each time.
The con artists, described by police as Hispanic and speaking in broken English, confuse young store clerks while purchasing small items with $100 bills, said Forest Acres police Lt. Bryant Hinson.
In the exchange over the purchases, the men walk out with the large bill they brought in, the merchandise and the change from the transaction.
“They’re netting $93 each time,” Hinson said.
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The stores they hit Jan. 6 within a 45-minute period beginning at 6 p.m. are in or near Trenholm Plaza. They include McAlister’s Deli, San Jose’s Mexican Restaurant, Rite Aid and Garner’s Natural Life, according to the police report. The men failed at San Jose’s because the McAlister's clerk, the first flimflammed, alerted the restaurant, Hinson said.
There have been no more reports of the scam.
Here is how the con works, according to Hinson:
The men approach clerks with a few small items and hand them a $100 bill. After they get their change, they change their minds about using the large bill and say they want to pay for their items with smaller bills. During the back-and-forth, which is complicated by the language barrier, other customers are waiting to check out. The clerks get flustered and the con men take advantage.