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North-east businesses urged to remain vigilant after reports of distraction-type thefts

Wednesday February 12th 2020 at 3:32 PM


Businesses in the North-east are being urged to remain vigilant after reports of a number of distraction-type thefts. 

Between Thursday, 6 February, and Saturday, 8 February, police were informed of five separate cases, whereby two men entered a shop with a large amount of notes and asked staff to exchange them from one denomination to another.

The tactic, which is known as ‘Ringing the Changes’, causes staff to become distracted or deliberately confused, enabling the pair to walk out with sums of money.

It’s happened in Post Offices and convenience stores in Ellon, Oldmeldrum, Elgin, Tarland and Torphins.

Sergeant Keith Greig, from the Banchory Community Policing Team, said: “We are keen to trace the two men involved. They are described as being Mediterranean in appearance, aged in their late 20’s or early 30’s and have spoken in broken English.

“In one incident one of the males identified he was from Romania.

“Business owners and their staff should be alert and aware to this type of scam. Watch out for people requesting a large sum of money to be exchanged. It is possible they will target busy periods of the working day, providing an opportunity to confuse or distract staff.

“If you are in any doubt of a person’s intentions, consider asking another colleague for assistance or politely decline the request and notify the Police. Anyone with information or concerns should contact Police as soon as possible.”

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