Cashiers accused of turning small change into big bucks for bogus - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cashiers accused of turning small change into big bucks for bogus customers

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Kelada Brazan and Patrice Tolbert are former co-workers.  Both are accused in the same scam that cheated a major Memphis retailer out of thousands of dollars.

"It was pretty brazen," said Det. Chuck Tarwater with the Shelby Co. Sheriff's ALERT Squad.  "It was pretty obvious."

That's because sophisticated surveillance cameras were rolling on at least five different occassions as the crime was committed, with help from "customers" like Christopher Scruggs.  He is also charged.

"He would put a Coke on the counter, she would ring up the Coke, at which time he would give her a dollar and she would open the register," Tarwater said.

But instead of making correct change from his dollar, the accused clerk would remove a number of 20's or even 100 dollar bills.

In once surveillance clip obtained by Action News 5, Scruggs is actually holding Brazan's baby as she turns small change into big bucks.

"After she was trained as a cashier," Tarwater said.  "That's when she started."

Tolbert was repeatedly caught on camera as well.  Tarwater says she and Brazan would split the proceeds in the parking lot when their shifts ended.

"She said she just needed the money," Tarwater said.

Detectives say it was a matter of time before the scam was uncovered. Nightly tallies simply came up too short too many times.

Detectives are still looking for others who may have posed as customers in this scam.  Call the ALERT Squad at 901-756-LOSS with any information.

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