Couple tries to pass fake $50 and $20 at Duncan’s Big Scoop

Store owner is helping police with photo, description of incident

Quick action at Duncan’s Big Scoop ice cream shop stopped two counterfeiters cold on Sunday.

Store owner Gord Heppell tells the story.

A middle-aged man and a younger woman appeared in the shop July 22, about 8:30 p.m. and tried to use a Canadian $20 bill and a $50 bill that turned out to be counterfeit. The attempted crime was spotted by a couple of Heppell’s employees, and he stepped in.

“I said, ‘Don’t move, I need to get some photos of you’, which I did. The RCMP were notified. They came down.”

“The potential criminals knew what they were doing,” Heppell said. “They had a stack of that money. I took it from them to give to the RCMP.”

“They were so nonchalant, it was unbelievable. I took the $50 and he also had a $20 in his hand, and I said, ‘Where did you get this from?’ When he said, ‘Oh, my friend, my friend’, I knew it was a scam. He said, ‘I’m on my phone trying to get hold of him.’ I said, ‘let’s phone the police and we’ll try to get your money back for you.’ It was a delaying tactic. The [store] was full and all. The police got good pictures of him. I circulated them around the others businesses as well.”

READ MORE: Counterfeit bills also passed in Chemainus recently

Heppell said he understands that owners like him are targets of these scams.

“It is what it is. But we’ve all got to be on our toes and, thank God, my staff gives 110 per cent. We have over 600 people a day through this ice cream shop, and it’s a lot of transactions. I was very impressed with my staff.”

Sgt. Pam Bolton, communications officer for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP said that Mounties have not made an arrest yet.

However, Heppell expects that the police will soon be able to round up the pair.

“They knew they were guilty. I phoned 9-1-1. The police will have a trail on ‘em pretty fast. If you’re on foot in downtown Duncan there aren’t many places you can run and hide. And they didn’t run. They walked away slowly. I thought it was handled extremely well. I was quite impressed.

“Plus, all the other merchants were on the alert as well. The thing is to have your staff trained. And then exercise your rights as a business owner. I was over the moon with the two girls [employees].”

There are many sets of eyes that can help with information, Heppell said.

“We see the downtown street people all day long, too. They’ve all become our friends. When they get a few dollars they come in and buy the ice cream. They don’t steal nothing. If we get extra stuff, we give it to them. And then they tell us, ‘Oh, Gord, watch out for that one. Don’t let him in your store.’ You know what? If you work with these downtown people, they become your friends. They don’t rob me, don’t steal from me. You’ve got to go outside and engage with the consumer. It’s the best thing I ever did. Keep your eyes open. It’s worked. Everytime we see something, we alert everyone in the downtown core.

“We’re the new ears and eyes for downtown. You realize we’re open till one in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays, so we see stuff. We’ve got people outside all the time. Even at midnight, there are families out here.”

Just Posted

Woman speaks out after alleged sexual assault at Duncan Walmart

Allegations launched against man with ties to Ladysmith community

BC local elections: CVRD Area G voters ask questions about water, community centre

Saltair voters gathered under the roof of the community centre, a building… Continue reading

Ladysmith Public Art strategy holding back alleys and forgotten corners walk

Thanks to those who attended our Public Arts 101 Talk at the… Continue reading

BC local elections: Ladysmith town council candidate Amanda Jacobson

Current occupation: I am a mortgage broker; I have been helping people… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Stadium vendor seen in pizza spitting video pleads guilty

The 21-year-old’s sentencing is Nov. 15. His lawyer has said he understood what he did was wrong and was remorseful.

5 to start your day

Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank, ex-Surrey cop to appear in court after Creep Catchers sting and more

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

Jeromie and Jennifer Clark were found guilty of criminal negligence causing death

Fed report to show $19-billion deficit in 2017-18

The deficit is slightly smaller than Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s prediction of $19.4 billion in last winter’s budget

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Shots fired at Vancouver Island house during fight

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say Nanaimo RCMP

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Most Read