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Police arrest two individuals in ‘quick change' scam investigation

Cashiers at both retail stores reported that the suspects entered the store and requested change for a large amount of currency
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Two individuals are facing charges following alleged thefts from local retail businesses over the weekend. On Jan. 27, police received reports of two separate incidents, both of which occurred between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Cashiers at both retail stores reported that the suspects entered the store and requested change for a large amount of currency.

During the interaction, the individuals allegedly attempted to confuse the cashiers as the change was being distributed, ultimately resulting in funds being taken by the suspects. The two individuals in question were located by police on Jan. 28 in Timmins.

As a result of the above incidents, Marian Rostas, 32, and Mircea Rostas, 28, both of Montreal, Que. now face charges of:

• Theft under $5,000;

• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000; and

• Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Both individuals were held in custody pending a bail hearing scheduled for today, Jan. 29 in the Ontario Court of Justice.

This type of theft has been reported in other communities across the province. Typically, it involves individuals using various tactics to confuse cashiers after either purchasing a small item with large bills, asking for change for a large amount of money, or paying for a large item using cash. The Timmins Police Service is urging local retailers to be aware of this type of theft, and to take steps to prevent being victimized.

Some recommendations include:

• Completing one transaction at a time and closing the register after each transaction;

• Asking the customer to slow down, or starting the transaction from the beginning if it sounds too confusing;

• Contacting a manager if a customer is asking to exchange large bills, or directing the customer to a bank for the exchange;

• Having another staff member stand near you while you are dealing with the individual to ensure someone else is observing the transaction; and

• Asking for smaller bills to purchase small items – if customers do not have smaller bills, direct them to a bank to exchange the cash into smaller denominations.

Any local business who believes they may have been a victim of the ‘quick change scam’ is asked to contact the Timmins Police Service at 705-264-1201.