“Excuse me, have these bills dropped?”, Thus begins one of the new forms of theft that the Elche Police Station has detected that are occurring, with great benefits, in citizens who have just left an ATM or the bank later to withdraw money. The National Police Corps has arrested two people who were engaged in this practice, known in the slang “sowing”, with which they obtained from one of their victims more than ten thousand euros in bills and jewelry. The new commissioner of Elche, Pedro Montoré, in his inauguration, showed his interest in the fight against organized gangs and computer crimes.
“Sowing” is also carried out in the vicinity of supermarkets or shopping centers and requires highly specialized thieves, clever and with a great capacity for deception. The investigation in Elche that led to the arrest of two thieves began when a citizen’s call to the Operative Room of 091 alerted the police about a robbery that he had just suffered. After leaving the bank to withdraw cash, he prepared to make use of his vehicle when three people, two men and a woman of about 25-30 years, apparently south americans, they knocked on the window to warn him to be money had fallen to the ground, while pointing out several 5 euro bills scattered on the road.
“The victim, thinking that those bills were hers, got out of the vehicle to collect the money and at the woman’s insistence on showing him the bills on the ground, that attitude seemed strange to her, at which point she observed the other two individuals rushing out with her bag that was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, “explains the National Police Force. At that moment, the victim ran after the perpetrators so as not to lose sight of them, coinciding with the arrival of a patrol from the Local Citizen Security Brigade of Elche, who upon observing the action were able to stop the woman, who was held until what happened.
The patrol, in turn, gave notice to the rest of the indicative of the description of the other two authors. This facilitated the location of one of them in a nearby street, who was wearing the same clothes that he was wearing at the time of committing the criminal offense, but tried to mislead the agents by using accessories to change his appearance.
The “sowing” scam method
The Local Brigade of Judicial Police of Elche took charge of the investigation and was able to determine that the victim, who was engaged in purchase sale of jewelry, would have been selected in a bank, where one of the authors, well dressed and dressed in a beret and spectacles, was a few meters from her, with the excuse of change a 50 euro bill into ten 5 bills euros. At that time, said author, noticed how the victim was withdrawing a large amount of cash and advised his other two cronies to follow her and become his next victim of this well-known “sowing” scam.
They then waited for the victim will be mounted on your vehicle for, just before starting the march, come closer and tell him that he had dropped some bills (the money that was on the floor were the 5 euro notes that his buddy had previously exchanged at the bank). With this excuse, the authors took advantage of the distraction to open the vehicle door and steal her purse with money and jewelry, quickly running away.
The detainees, of Cuban and Colombian nationality, 29 and 59 years old, and with numerous antecedents for crimes against property of the same type, they were made available to the Court of Instruction of the Guard of the town of Elche. The investigation continues open, for the location and arrest of the rest of the authors. The agents are also continuing to investigate to see if the detainees could have committed more robberies in the city by the same method used.
The National Police alerts citizens about this type of theft
This method, known as scam “planting”, is usually committed in a group with a clear division of tasks. One of the authors performs surveillance functions on the victims at ATMs, bank branches, supermarkets or shopping centers and marks them for the rest to follow up. In this way, the criminal group always ensures that the person who suffers the theft carries money or objects of great value. Then, in the vicinity of the bank, or after following the victim to a parking lot or gas station, another of the perpetrators drops several bills next to the victim and rebukes him saying that they are his and that they have dropped. When the victim bends over to pick them up, the person who warns them or a third party takes advantage of the opportunity to steal cards and valuables that the victim has left neglected in the rush to collect the bills.
For this reason, the National Police recommends taking precautions in the banks and when leaving them, in the public parking lots and gas stations where these types of events are more frequent. It is recommended to be wary of strangers, even those who offer their help, always lock the vehicle and do not leave objects in sight on the car seats.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.