By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A popular Minneapolis lunch spot is warning fellow restaurants of a scam – and they say the proof is on camera.

Vellee Deli owners Joyce Truong and Will Xiong shared video Wednesday of two customers using a slight-of-hand trick to try to get extra money from the cashier.

“We started noticing that our cash register drawers were missing a weird, even number, like $20 or $10,” Truong said.

She added that she trained her staff to make sure they count back a customer’s change. However, when she noticed certain customers claimed they were not given the correct change, Truong went to video from security cameras to see what was going on.

A pattern emerged.

“They would sometimes use a bigger bill, like a $20 to $50 bill, to pay for a really small item,” Truong said.

The owners say one customer was the master of distraction, talking on the phone and asking a question before tucking a $20 in his pocket.

He would then blame the cashier for shortchanging him.

“We gave the correct change and the gentleman pretty much swapped a $10 bill for a $1 bill,” Truong said.

They say another customer used a slight-of-hand trick.

“He brings it in really close and the only thing you’ll see is that the dollar was shoved in from the bottom,” Xiong said. “It changes, it kind of shifts position.”

The owners of Vellee Deli believe if this is happening to their restaurant, others may be victims as well.

“We want to make sure the word is out so people are aware of this situation,” Truong said.

She and Xiong say the dishonest customers come toward the end of rush hour, expecting employees to be tired and not paying much attention to what’s going on.

Minneapolis police are aware of the situation and are checking with other businesses to check for other victims.


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