Ocean City Police Nab Boardwalk Quick Change Scam Artist

Ocean City Police Nab Boardwalk Quick Change Scam Artist
Photo courtesy of OCPD

OCEAN CITY – Authorities have arrested a Virginia man wanted in connection with a quick-change scam he allegedly carried out on the Boardwalk over the course of a couple of days.

On Monday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) issued a flier urging resort businesses, particularly Boardwalk businesses, to be on the lookout for an individual operating a quick-change scam. Two Boardwalk businesses had been victimized, while others had been targeted unsuccessfully.

In the scam, the suspect would approach a cashier with a small item to purchase. After the purchase, the suspect would ask for change for a larger bill, and then would pull out a wad of bills and repeatedly ask for change in an attempt to confuse the cashier. The suspect was identified as Jeffrey Fisher, 64, of Withams, Va.

On Tuesday, OCPD officers caught Fisher attempting his scam again and he was arrested. Around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Fisher allegedly went to a Boardwalk candy store and bought PEZ candy dispenser. Fisher than asked the cashier to make change for a larger bill. Fisher then pulled out a large wad of bills and continue trade bills back and forth with the cashier, dropping some bills in the process.

According to police reports, Fisher on Tuesday repeated the same scam at a Boardwalk ice cream parlor. Fisher’s net gain from the two incidents included $100 from the candy store and $70 from the ice cream parlor. In each case, the victims were able to provide a description of Fisher including his apparel, the fact he walked with a limp and used a cane. He also had an eye condition that caused each of his eyes to point in different directions.

Fisher reportedly attempted the scam at a Boardwalk souvenir shop and staffers there told police the suspect was walking north on the Boardwalk. An OCPD officer on Tuesday recognized Fisher on the Boardwalk at 2nd Street and detained him. Fisher was in possession of two plastic bags from a Boardwalk discount store along with a large amount of currency, according to police reports. After asking Fisher for consent to search the bags, the OCPD officer found two toy cars, one key chain, and one bath container of bath gel in one of the bags. In the other bag, OCPD officers located a box on wire sparklers. He was also in possession of over $400 in cash in various denominations.

A witness from the souvenir store was brought to the scene to positively identify Fisher. The souvenir store employee reportedly told police Fisher bought a face mask for a $1.99 and paid for it with $5.26. He then asked her to change five $1 bills for a five and repeated the request over and over. The store employee stopped the scam when she remembered seeing Fisher in the OCPD’s scam alert flier from the day before.

About a half an hour later, Fisher reportedly went to a Boardwalk discount store and asked the clerk for a plastic bag. While in the store, Fisher allegedly stole the toy cars, the key chain and the bath gel, according to police reports. Fisher then went to a separate Boardwalk discount store and purchased the sparklers. A short time later, he was located at 2nd Street and detained. He was arrested and charged with theft and attempted theft. He was originally held on a $5,000 bond, but was released on recognizance on Wednesday.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.