Police in Lower Paxton Township seek to identify ‘quick-change’ scam suspects

DAUPHIN COUNTY — Police in Lower Paxton Township are seeking help in identifying two men suspected of using a “quick change” scam to steal from at least three businesses on the 5000 block of Jonestown Road last month.

The investigation began when Lower Paxton Township Police officers were dispatched to Color Me Mine on Jonestown Road on Feb. 28. Police say an employee at the business reported a black male entered the store, approached the register with a small piece of merchandise, valued under $5, and attempted to buy it by placing a $100 bill on the counter. He then subtly retrieved the $100 bill while the clerk was making change, took the item, the $100 bill, and his change, and left the store, according to police.

While canvassing other businesses in the area, police say a similar distraction-style theft was discovered at a nearby Subway restaurant, where the same suspect allegedly attempted the same type of “quick change” purchase. This time, police say, a Subway employee noticed the man retrieving the $100 bill and confronted him. The suspect allegedly returned a portion of the change to the employees before leaving with the $100 bill and the remainder of the change he received, police say.

Another incident of a similar nature was reported at a Chipotle restaurant in the same area, according to police. In this case, a different suspect entered the business and tried to pay for a $3 purchase with a $100 bill. As the cashier took the bill, the suspect suddenly asked to pay with a smaller denomination. He then paid for his food with a $10 bill and left the store, so the Chipotle incurred no loss, according to police. But because of the similar nature of the incidents and the time frame in which they occurred, police believe the men may have been working together.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects is encouraged to call the Lower Paxton Police Department at (717) 657-5656.

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