‘Quick change’ con artist scams 3 shops out of 2,000 patacas

2023-09-26 03:33     BY William Chan     Comment:0

A “quick change” confidence trickster was caught on Thursday for stealing over 2,000 patacas from three shops on separate occasions, Public Security Police (PSP) spokesman Cheong Heon Fan said at a press conference yesterday.

The 53-year-old mainland suspect surnamed Chen told the police he’s jobless.

According to Cheong, the Public Security Police received reports from a restaurant and a beverage kiosk last week that their cashiers had been defrauded when they were giving a man, who was later identified as Chen, change after he pretended to pay for his purchases.

Cheong noted that Chen’s fraudulent technique involved giving a 500-pataca note to cashiers at various shops and pressuring them to quickly give him his change. As soon as the cashiers handed him the change, Chen would swiftly assert that he had either received the incorrect amount of small change or that, after all, he had enough small change. In the midst of this distraction, he would snatch both the cashier’s change and the 500-pataca note from the counter before swiftly fleeing the scene.

The two victims reported a loss totalling 978 patacas, Cheong said.

Under questioning, Chen admitted to defrauding three shops out of 2,000 patacas using the same method. He told the police that he gambled away all his money and then decided to con the cashiers.

Chen has been transferred to the Public Prosecutions Office (MP), facing fraud charges, Cheong said. 

This undated handout photo provided by the Public Security Police (PSP) yesterday shows a PSP officer escorting the fraud suspect to a police station.

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