A Till Tap theft occurs at the cash register. While the cashier is
busy ringing up the customer's purchase, the criminal customer asks the
cashier to make change.
Sometimes this customer speaks poor English and is difficult to understand;
other till tappers pretend to be deaf-mutes. This is done to confuse and
distract the cashier. An accomplice may also stand behind the till tapper
and attempt to block the view of other customers by holding up an article of
The till tapper will reach into the cash drawer (the till) and grab
the money. The suspect will always try to collect the larger bills. Using a
sleight of hand, the suspect will palm the cash and then quickly conceal the
Do not make change at the register.
If a customer reaches into the cash drawer, immediately close the cash
Keep large bills under the cash drawer.
Conduct pulls regularly.
Report suspicious people.
Most cashiers do not realize a till tap has occurred. Unfortunately,
the cashier is blamed for the shortage, and often accused of the theft.
Till tapping is easily prevented. REMEMBER - THERE IS NO REASON FOR
ANY CUSTOMER TO REACH INTO THE EMPLOYEES TILL, EXCEPT TO STEAL CASH!!!
Any number of suspects, occasionally with children, will enter the retail
establishment. Each criminal participant has a particular job in the
offense. Some suspects divert employees by asking questions; they may also
take the employee to an area away from the location of the money, i.e.,
office, safe behind counter, etc. Other suspects may distract customers in
the store by physically blocking the view in front of the area where the
money is located; this helps ensure no one will become suspicious and try to
return to that area. If this is successful, one suspect goes in, removes the
currency, and then leaves the store. When all is clear, the rest of the
suspects leave, "as if on signal." In many cases it appears all of
the vehicles are parked together and leave together. The vehicle designated
to transport the money may be parked in a different location and driven off
in a different direction than the rest of the group.
Previously, supermarkets were primarily chosen by the suspects for store
diversions; now, their targets also include chain stores, franchise stores,
and gas station/convenience stores.
This particular group of suspects has proven very adaptable; they change
their method of operation as the situation dictates. These suspects have
been known to steal only the currency from the middle stacks of bills; this
leaves the impression, on first glance, nothing was taken. Checks taken in
these offenses are frequently found strewn along interstate highways or in
The suspects are very aware of video surveillance; they will attempt to
defeat these devices by taking the video tape with them or by using
newspapers and/or other objects to block the surveillance camera's view.
If the tape cannot be removed, the entire VCR/camera is usually taken. These
tapes are often recovered in trash receptacles near the location of the
What to do after a diversion -
Write down all of the identifiers of the individuals you can remember;
Write down the license plate number and identifying marks of the
vehicle(s) they may be driving;
Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency;
Law enforcement agencies should immediately disseminate a teletype
describing the offense within a 100 mile radius; experience indicates
these suspects will continue to commit numerous offenses as they travel
on road trips;
Communication among law enforcement agencies and complete sharing of
information is an effective method to counter these offenses.
Tool Sale Scam
Suspect approaches small businesses or shops attempting to sell inferior
grades of equipment, e.g., hydraulic hoist, hydraulic press, drill press,
band saw, etc.;
Warranties on the equipment are non-existent; the documents misrepresent
the value of the item(s).
These scams are just a few of the numerous frauds perpetrated annually. Each year thousands of victims lose millions of dollars from these scams. The deception list continues to grow each year, making scams, their victims, and the exact dollar amount almost impossible to track. Anyone can become the victim. People of all ages, educational levels, and incomes fall victim to scams daily.
Gathering and sharing of information is vital, especially when you are dealing with these transient, criminal suspects, and the thefts, scams, and frauds they perpetrate.