Police warn businesses about money scam after money stolen from post office

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2017)

Cash was stolen from a post office in Totnes yesterday, 4th August.

An unknown offender ran away with over £300 after attempting to change a large quantity of cash into smaller notes and trying to confuse the employee.

The suspect is described as white, approximately 30 years old, stocky build. He was wearing a dark-coloured baseball cap, grey/beige trousers, and a light pink long overshirt.

Totnes Police said on Facebook:

” ‘Ringing the Changes’ is a term we use to name a type of scam where criminals ask for cash to be changed into different notes in a way designed to confuse so that they come away with more money.

“These criminals will target a business, post office, even a bank and ask to change a handful of notes, often £20 notes into smaller denominations.  Once changed, they will use sleight of hand to hide some of the notes and ask the cashier to count the money again.  They will then ask to change the notes once more, sometimes into coins.  When refused, the scammer will then ask for his original money back, thus earning a profit.  On many occasions, the theft is not realised until cashing up at the end of the day.

“Today in Totnes, a male came away from a premise £350 better off.  We have a good description and a CCTV image of the offender, which we will share should a need in the investigation later arise.  We do believe the offender is NOT local to Totnes,” 

Police have advised all business owners to be aware and check large denominations to ensure they are genuine, to report any forged notes and if you are suspicious, not to take the notes and note down a description of the suspect. If you have CCTV, point it out to the suspect for a clear facial shot. If the cash is left, try to handle it by the corners and place it in an envelope.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting Log 399 04/08/2017

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