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Cops Search For Quick-Change Con Artist

HOWELL (WWJ) - Police are looking for the crook who pulled quick-change scams on at least two businesses in Livingston County.

The Livingston County Sheriff's Department said they received complaints on Monday from two businesses referencing a quick-change scam artist: AJ's Mart at 433 E Highland Road and USA2GO at 1900 North Latson Road, both in Howell.

Police say the suspect, a black male in his 30's to 40's, got away with over $175. He also made attempts to pull the scam at two other businesses but was denied.

According to police, the suspect was seen with a woman and at least one other person who was driving the suspect vehicle, a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser, but they don't think those people played a role in the crimes.

At the time of the crimes, the suspect was wearing a black bandana or hat, a black polo shirt and multi-colored shorts. The female he was with is described as being light-skinned with a heavy build. She was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans at the time.

Anyone with information that could identify the suspect or the woman he was seen with is urged to contact the sheriff's department at 517-540-7953 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.

Police say a quick-change scam involves tricking a cashier into giving more change than they should, usually at a time when the store is very busy. A typical scam works like this: The con artist makes a small purchase with a large bill. While the cashier is counting back the change, the fast-talking crook either asks for different denominations of bills or changes their mind and tries to pay with a smaller bill instead. In the end, a cashier could easily become confused and end up giving back far more change than intended.

howell quick change - suspect vehicle
The suspect was seen in this PT Cruiser at both crime scenes. (Courtesy: Livingston County Sheriff's Department)
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