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Ringing the changes incident in Alnwick

02 Feb 2016 08:46 AM

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Police are asking businesses to be vigilant after a shop assistant was conned out of cash in Northumberland.

At 2.42pm on Thursday, January 28, a man approached a shop assistant at a shop in Market Street, Alnwick to pay for items. He then asked for various denominations of change, distracting the assistant and making off with a quantity of cash.

The offender is described as being a white man, aged 30-40 years-old and 5ft 10" tall. He was wearing a dark beanie hat and a two tone North Face Jacket and spoke with a local accent.

The scam is known as 'ringing the changes' and police are asking businesses to be on their guard.

Alnwick Neighbourhood Inspector, Paul Truscott, said: "I'd ask local businesses to be vigilant of these 'ringing the changes' incidents.

"There are criminals who travel around the area looking to confuse staff members by asking to change money.

"When they do this, they try to distract the member of staff by changing the type of notes, asking for it back and generally causing confusion - all while trying to make off with cash.

"Anyone suspecting this has been attempted with them or who thinks the behaviour of a customer is suspicious in any way should contact police.

"If anyone has information on this incident they should also come forward."

People can contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 0267 29/01/16 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.