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Vegreville RCMP looking for suspect in quick-change scam

Police in Vegreville, Alta., are looking for a man they believe is involved in a recent string of scams.
Police in Vegreville, Alta., are looking for a man they believe is involved in a recent string of scams. Courtesy: RCMP

RCMP in Vegreville, Alta., are investigating several alleged instances of a scam in which a person purchases a small item with a large denomination of cash and then tries to confuse the cashier into returning more money to the person than they are owed.

Police believe the scam was recently used by one man to confuse cashiers at two separate locations.

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In one instance, it’s alleged that the suspect went into the Vegreville Tim Hortons and purchased a small item with a large bill. While the cashier was preparing his change, the suspect allegedly tried to confuse the cashier by asking for smaller denominations and ended up leaving the restaurant with $100, according to police.

“The scam is to earn easy money at an amount that isn’t realized until the till is balanced at the end of the day,” said Cpl. Leigh Drinkwater in a news release on Saturday.

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“The amounts are small enough that efforts by businesses (are) not made to determine what happened that day to account for the error, making it a low-risk confidence trick and under-reported.”

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Police believe the same suspect was involved in a similar incident at a gas bar in Camrose. He is described by police as “proficient in the scam,” and authorities say he has likely targeted other businesses around the province with the same routine.

Police have released surveillance photos in an effort to identify the suspect along with his vehicle, which is believed to be a silver or light brown late-1990s Buick Park Avenue.

Police are urging anybody who recognizes the suspect in the images below to please contact the Vegreville RCMP detachment at 780-632-2223 or submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers on 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

RCMP are looking for a suspect they believe was involved in a scam.
RCMP are looking for a suspect they believe was involved in a scam.
RCMP are looking for a suspect they believe was involved in a scam.
RCMP are looking for a suspect they believe was involved in a scam. RCMP