CEDAR CITY — Authorities are warning store managers about a recent scam that has employees handing the money in their tills over to strangers.
Police responded Friday to two different incidents where a man identifying himself as a representative from corporate headquarters called two fast food restaurants demanding money.
The incidents occurred at a Cedar City Subway, 1322 Providence Center Drive, while the other at Taco Bell, 1100 North 300 West in the Parowan truck stop.
In both incidents, the male caller told the employees their manager was in trouble with the company and a woman was going to pick up the money in the till to make sure the manager wasn’t embezzling money.
At Taco Bell, the male caller remained on the line with the employee while the female came in to pick up the money. Parowan Police Sgt. Mike Berg said the employee was skeptical and asked to see identification. The man on the phone became very aggressive, demanding the money be given to the woman. The Taco Bell employee contacted the authorities immediately after the woman left the store.
“The employee asked someone to keep an eye on the man and the woman to see which direction they were traveling while she called the police,” Berg said. “But by the time the person got out to the parking lot they were long gone.”
At Subway, the woman came in shortly after the man’s call and picked up the money telling the employee they would bring the money back for his morning shift, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said, adding that police weren’t contacted until the following morning.
“When the employee came in to open the store and there wasn’t any money in the till as promised,” Womack said, “that’s when he realized there was a problem.”
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Police would not say how much money was in the tills but in both cases authorities confirmed that the couple made contact at the end of the shift when the most money would have been available.
Investigators said they think the couple may have canvassed the truck stop before pulling off the alleged scam as the woman seemed to know how to avoid the cameras. Cedar City Police are still waiting for video footage from Subway.
Law enforcement is particularly concerned about this scam as it appears to target younger employees who are more vulnerable, Womack said.
Police recommend business owners and store managers warn their employees and train them to never give anyone the money out of their tills.
If you or anyone you know has information on these incidents or the suspects involved or if you encounter a similar incident, please call Cedar City Communications Center, dispatch, at telephone: 435-586-9445.
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