Businesses in the Poconos Hit by Scammer

STROUD TOWNSHIP -- Several restaurant and shop owners in the Poconos are asking the community for help to identify a man they believe scammed several businesses earlier this week.

Police in Monroe County are now investigating the reported scams.

Three business owners in a strip mall on Route 611 near Stroudsburg say they were hit one by one by the same man on Monday.

Owners say the man put on the same act in each business. He used big bills for small purchases and then claimed he was given the wrong change.

Now business owners want to alert other shops and restaurants to be on the lookout.

Surveillance video from Dicky's Barbecue Pit near Stroudsburg shows a man in a Bloomsburg University sweatshirt and black cap and the restaurant's assistant manager switching money back and forth.

According to that assistant manager, the man claimed he was given the wrong change after paying for a small order with a $50 bill.

"We went back and forth," said Raven Stewart. "He accused me of not giving him the right change, so I redid the whole order, essentially. We gave it back and we were good. Then he asked for change."

Stewart says he later realized his drawer was short about $140 and called police.

Minutes later, the same man can be seen two doors down at Moe's Southwest Grill with a bag from Dicky's next to him.

Managers there say the man told the cashier he was given the wrong change for a small order that he paid for with a $50 bill.

Manager Heather Holzmann says she had seen this quick-change scam before and told the cashier what to do.

"He paid with a 50 and I told her to count out the money, fan it out, and make sure he sees it all, and then hand it to him right after that," Holzmann said.

After Holzmann walked away, the man continues to argue with the cashier but walks away once the manager is called back.

Once the man leaves Moe's, he's spotted two doors up at Yuppy Puppy. Workers there say he put on the same wrong change act and made off with about $50.

Not far from the strip mall on Route 611 is Snydersville Diner, another place that was hit. Owners did not want to talk about the incident on camera, but they did share surveillance pictures with us and tell us the man made off with more than $200.

Owners say the man actually reached around and grabbed money out of the register.

Long-time customer Danny Butler from Saylorsburg says the whole situation is sad.

"It doesn't make sense because it hurts people who go in there and the people that work there. It makes it scary for them and I feel for them," Butler said.

If you know the man in these pictures, you're asked to contact police.


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