TWO men from the West Midlands launched frauds known as ‘ringing the changes’ at North Wales stores.
Staff at Marks & Spencer on Broughton Shopping Park and at Aldi were asked to change £20 to £10 while small items were purchased.
They then changed their minds and during the confusion used sleight of hand techniques to take some of the money.
Prosecutor Sheyanne Lee told how staff and others nearby were distracted as the incident took place and when the money was returned they found notes had disappeared.
They got away with £200 at one store and £240 at another.
Sandu Rostas, of Saltley in Birmingham, admitted two frauds. One was by distracting staff and another by aiding and abetting another man.
He received a 60-day prison sentence, suspended for a year, at Flintshire Magistrates Court yesterday.
Rostas, 20, was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work with £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.
Magistrates at the Mold court said they were sophisticated offences by two men who had travelled to North Wales from Birmingham.
The other man had previously been dealt with and received a community order, but was ordered to pay the compensation in full.
Probation officer Tracey Flavell said Rostas denied travelling to North Wales to commit the offences.
It was his case that his partner rang him and he felt under pressure to provide finances that he did not have available to him.
Fiona Larkin, defending, said Rostas was a man of good character and that there should be parity in sentence between the two men.
See full story in the Chester Leader