They were successful and now we need them identified and, just as importantly, we need area retailers to be on the alert.
This scam is known as the Quick-Change and the perpetrators are referred to as quick-change artists. They are called artists because they are well practiced and rehearsed before they ever decide what stores they will hit; they actually design their plans involving several people and sometimes even multiple groups of people.
The distraction techniques include entering the store in a group during busy times and then separating throughout the store. As one suspect is confusing a cashier by asking for change of large bills and going back-and-forth with the exchanges, their partners are working to distractions and keeping an eye out for other employees who may be catching on and the police.
They are usually very polite and friendly, and will engage in conversations with customers and employees to blend in. In a matter of seconds, a good artist can get away with stealing hundreds of dollars. Often times the crime is not realized until the register is counted down at closing time. By then, no one remembers what could possibly have happened to so much missing money.
If you work in retail, please be extra cautious and alert for these types of scams.
If you become nervous or confused during any transaction, a good practice is to stop, close the cash drawer, and call for assistance from a supervisor.
If you believe that you may have seen these suspects notify the Cedar Bluff Police Department at 256-779-6835.