MADERA COUNTY – Like a scene straight out of the Hollywood flick Paper Moon, two hustlers walk into a shop, confuse a cashier during monetary transactions, then exit before the clerk realizes she’s been conned.
For that pair of Depression Era grifters, the steal amounted to fives, tens and twenties.
But for four men who pulled a similar stunt at the Pilot Truck Stop off Highway 99 in Madera County, two cashiers are out more than $1200. Surveillance video captured both quick-change scams on tape.
The incident happened on July 23, at about 5:10 p.m. Surveillance video shows two teams of African American men enter the establishment. The first pair approaches a female clerk and a second pair approaches a male clerk. In both cases, the suspects are asking the cashiers to break large bills.
The first two suspects are described as:
1. Heavy set with corn rows and a mustache, wearing a large white t-shirt.
2. Smaller, possibly younger, short hair, also wearing a white t-shit.
These two manage to steal $150.00.
The second two suspects are described as:
1. Medium build, short hair, mustache, limps and uses a cane. He was wearing darker clothing.
2. Younger and slimmer build, wearing a white t-shirt.
They make off with $1,100.00
Deputies suspect this may be part of a ring of grifters traveling up and down the Highway 99 corridor, all pulling the same scam on other unwitting merchants.
Anyone with information about this quick-change scam is urged to call the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770