Slick talker scams cash from local bank

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying a theft suspect who scammed a bank out of more than $1,800.

According to detectives, the suspect walked into the Regions Bank, located at 13520 North Cleveland Avenue, on Monday, Feb. 11th.  The man, who claimed to be Australian, approached a teller and stated that he wanted to exchange $4,200 in $100 dollar bills for $50 dollar bills on behalf of his mother, who was supposedly a customer of the bank. 

After confirming that the $100 dollar bills were authentic, the teller exchanged the money for the $50 dollar bills requested.  After taking receipt of the stack of cash, the suspect said that he actually wanted to exchange the money for $50 bills in Australian currency.  The teller explained that the bank did not carry foreign cash and that he would need to go elsewhere to make that transaction. 

The unidentified man then placed the stack of $50 bills through the cashier’s money tray and asked for his original $100 bills back.  The teller complied with that request, at which point the suspect left the bank. 

Shortly after his exit, the teller realized that the $50 bills that were returned to her contained significantly less money than she gave the suspect – to the tune of $1,850.  Detectives believe the suspect slyly slid some of the cash inside his shirt during the exchange, and left before the teller noticed the discrepancy.

Anyone with information on the identity and whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. 

Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or by submitting a tip through the P3Tips mobile app.