DALTON, Ga. - The Dalton Police Department has issued warrants for the arrest of two Atlanta-area men they say perpetuated a "quick change" scam on multiple stores during a three-day spree.
Police said Howard Terez Fuller, 27, of Decatur would act as a lookout while Annise Timte Smith, 29, of Lithonia tried to rip off stores by tricking cashiers into giving them an incorrect amount of change for a small purpose.
According to officials, Smith would enter a store and try to buy a cheap piece of merchandise. As the clerk counted out the change, Smith would then request the bill back, saying he had exact change. In the confusion "Smith and Fuller would then leave with their own money, the store's money, and the merchandise," officials said.
Police were notified of Smith and Fuller after a manager from a Dalton-area Dollar General store contacted them to report being scammed by two black male suspects, one of whom the manager thought could have been related to a different scamming case the police were already investigating. While officials found that the two cases weren't related, they realized that this wasn't the first time the two men attempted the scam at a local Dollar General.
In total, police say that Fuller and Smith had visited eight Dollar General stores and two CVS pharmacies in the area.
During the investigation, Dalton Police realized that Fuller and Smith had been arrested in Effingham, Illinois after attempting the same scam in that area. The pair is now suspected of perpetuating the same scam along the Interstate 75 corridor between the two cities.
The Dalton Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Fuller for 14 counts of criminal attempts to commit a misdemeanor, 18 counts of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, and four counts of being party to a crime. They have also issued a warrant for the arrest of Smith for two counts of theft by deception, two counts of theft by shoplifting, 14 counts of criminal attempts to commit a misdemeanor, and 18 counts of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.
Investigators are asking anyone who believes they may have been victims of the same scam, especially at CVS pharmacies or Dollar General stores, to contact Detective Brian Shirley at (706) 278-9085.