New scam targets fast food restaurants and convenient stores - Tucson News Now

New scam targets fast food restaurants and convenient stores

By Mark Stine - email

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - Convenience stores and fast food restaurants are the targets in a new scam. Sheriff's detectives say this new elaborate scheme has worked on multiple businesses in Pima County and even some in the city of Tucson.

"People always try for new things to rob people. If something works, it works, if it doesn't they come up with something else," Garry Singh explained.

Singh's family owns this AM-PM convenient store at Oracle and Glenn. He says word of a new scam doesn't surprise him at all.

"The stories are very similar," Detective Tom Peine said. He added criminals have used this same story to help them rob seven businesses in Pima County and some more in the City of Tucson. He told us those businesses include Circle K, Wendy's and Taco Bell.

Peine explained, "The individual calls in at this late hour and identifies himself as somebody from up in the chain of command so to speak."

The crook claims to be upper management in the company and tells the clerk that something bad happened at the store earlier in the day.

"Somebody got hurt in the store, fell, ate something bad and had to be medically treated," Peine told KOLD.

The person on the phone tells the clerk, to avoid a lawsuit, they must put money and in some cases food from the store in a bag and hand it to a cab driver waiting outside.

"The cab driver unbeknownst to him what's going on, he takes the items and delivers them somewhere around town where the things are picked up curbside," Peine said.

The scam is so elaborate that it keeps working. Garry Singh says he understands how. "Some stores are owned privately and some are company owned. So with company owned it's more vulnerable to getting attacked because they don't know who is above them."

Singh tells us their clerks are trained to always double check with management when any situation comes up.

"We never directly take money out of the store that's always most likely false. We have insurance take care of that, so if someone's asking for money over the phone, most likely that's not true," Singh told KOLD News 13.

If you have any information on these crimes, you are urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

©2010 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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