An alleged “quick change” con artist is in the Franklin County Jail on charges that he bilked cashiers of hundreds of dollars at several stores in the area.
Jay V. Jackson, 59, Cincinnati, Ohio, is charged in a Franklin County warrant with two counts of felony stealing. A $30,000 cash-only bond was set in the case.
Jackson is accused of staging the “quick change” con game July 13 at Wal-Mart stores in both Washington and Union, according to police. He reportedly made off with $300 at the Washington store and $100 from the Union Wal-Mart, according to a probable cause statement filed in court.
He also is a suspect in similar incidents at stores in Eureka and Festus as well as other parts of Missouri and Kansas.
Authorities allege that Jackson got away with $400 after working the con at the Eureka Wal-Mart, and $300 from the Wal-Mart at Festus.
Washington police also are receiving reports that the man allegedly worked the same con at different stores and fastfood restaurants in Olathe, Kan., and in the Kansas City, St. Charles and St. Louis areas in recent weeks.
Washington Detective Sgt. Brad Erisman said police investigating the incident here learned that a surveillance camera at the Eureka Wal-Mart had images of Jackson and the vehicle he was driving.
Both police and Wal-Mart officials issued a bulletin to be on the lookout for the suspect and his vehicle, a car that was rented in Sharonville, Ohio.
That led to Jackson’s arrest by authorities in Palmyra in northeast Missouri, Erisman said.
A Washington officer went to Palmyra on Saturday and took Jackson into custody. The man refused to talk to the officer and was returned to Franklin County where he was held by Washington and Union police until the felony warrant was issued.
A “quick change” con involves an offer to change an amount of money with someone, while at the same time taking change or bills back and forth to confuse the person as to how much money is actually being changed.
The probable cause statement notes that on July 13, Jackson initially attempted the con at one of the main registers at the Washington Wal-Mart but was unsuccessful. He then went to the store’s garden center where he purchased $6.37 worth of items and gave the cashier a $100 bill. He then bought another item for $1.05 and paid with $1.25, according to the statement.
“When the cash drawer opened, Jackson began asking for change and began switching bills around with the associate. Jackson was also taking large stacks of bills from the associate and counting it out himself,” according to the probable cause statement written by Patrolman Darrell Flora.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks noted that while each theft did not exceed $500 — the amount that constitutes a felony — Jackson was charged with felony stealing because of prior convictions for similar crimes.
According to the warrant, Jackson pleaded guilty in Putnam County, Ohio, in January 2004 and April 2013, on theft charges for offenses that occurred in May 2003 and December 2012.