New Scam Targets C-stores in Tucson Area

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Convenience stores and fast-food restaurants are the targets of a new, elaborate scam that has worked on multiple businesses in the city and Pima County, sheriff's detectives told KOLD News 13.

Detective Tom Peine said criminals have used the same story to rob seven businesses in the county and several more in Tucson. The victims include Circle K, Wendy's and Taco Bell.

Peine said the crook calls the store at a late hour and identifies himself as upper management in the company, and tells the clerk that something bad happened at the store earlier in the day. "Somebody got hurt, fell, ate something bad and had to be medically treated," he explained.

The person on the phone then tells the clerk to avoid a lawsuit, they must put money, and in some cases, food from the store in a bag and hand it to a cab driver waiting outside.

"The cab driver, unbeknownst to him what's going on, takes the items and delivers them somewhere around town where the things are picked up curbside," Peine said.

The scam is so elaborate that it keeps working, the report stated.

Garry Singh, whose family owns an ampm convenience store in the area, said he understands how c-stores are getting tricked. "Some stores are owned privately and some are company owned. With company owned, it's more vulnerable to getting attacked because they don't know who is above them," he told KOLD News 13.

Singh said his store's clerks are trained to always double check with management when any situation comes up. "We never directly take money out of the store…We have insurance take care of that. So, if someone's asking for money over the phone, most likely it's not true," he said.

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