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A flimflam sham

He’s oh so slick.
Police are warning store owners about a flimflam man who is making his way around Sylvania, conning unsuspecting clerks at five stores out of a total of $1,200 last week.
The man acts very friendly, chatting with other customers and the store clerks, distracting them and catching them off guard while he deftly switches bills and claims to have been shortchanged. He points out the “error,” gets the extra change he says he is owed, and before the clerks realize what’s happened, he’s left with a tidy profit.
It’s not the first time the man has visited Sylvania. Police say he came through town in January. Just how much he made off with that time is unclear, said Sylvania Police Lt. Tony A. Taylor.
Taylor said store clerks sometimes never figure out that they’ve been scammed. And even if they do figure out what happened, the man is long gone and they don’t bother to report it to police.
The man came through town on Tuesday and Wednesday a week ago. At Gary’s Minit Mart, he came into the store and asked to exchange $500 in $20 bills for five $100 bills. He picked up the five $100 bills and switched two of them with $10 bills. He then told the clerk that he’d given him three $100 bills and two $10 bills. The clerk exchanged the two $10 bills for two $100 bills and the man left the store, $180 richer than when he entered.
When the man went to Bi-Lo, the clerk recognized him as someone who had scammed her previously. When he asked to exchange denominations, she held his cash in her hand and called her manager. The man said never mind, he was in a hurry and to give his money back so he could leave. She didn’t return his money and he left without it.
Taylor said he didn’t know how much money the man left behind at the Bi-Lo.
Police have the man on videotape so they hope to catch him soon. Taylor said clerks should be careful and if they suspect someone is trying to scam them, call the police and get a description of a car and a license tag number.
Police are not releasing a description of the man, saying they want clerks to be vigilant all the time and they don’t know whether he might be using a partner who looks different from him.
The man thrives on taking small amounts from each store. “He’s not going to make a mint on one store,” Taylor said. “He’s adding it up.”