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Scam Artists Make Off with Cash, Gold From Perry Highway Jewelry Shop

Owner of McCandless business says he's left with fake gold after switch. Police seek other possible victims.

McCandless Police are investigating the theft of cash and gold chains from the owner of a Perry Highway business, who reported he was scammed by two men who left him holding fake gold, according to KDKA-TV.

Daniel Dastranj, owner of Penn-West Gold & Diamond Co. at 8224 Perry Highway, reported to police that two men posed as jewelry sellers to scam him out of $1,600 and two real gold chains Saturday, according to KDKA. The business buys precious metals, diamonds, coins and estate jewelry.

Dastranj told police the men came into his business shortly before he was about to close at 4 p.m. and inquired about selling two gold chains, according to KDKA. After testing the chains to determine that they were indeed gold, Dastranj agreed to purchase them for $1,600, KDKA reported.

During the transaction, however, one of the men briefly balked and put a plastic bag containing the chains back into his pocket, KDKA reported. The man purported to change his mind and exchanged a plastic bag containing chains for the cash, Dastranj told KDKA.

After the men left the store, Dastranj realized he'd been given different, fake chains and notified police.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact McCandless Police at 412-364-0626.

McKnightmare February 13, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Pretty good scam, the bait and switch. But I thought most places take your info and your ID in case the stuff is stolen.
Pam February 13, 2013 at 04:00 PM
You're right, but knowing that these two planned the scam this way, they probably had fake I.D.'s on tem during the transaction. The store clerk should have checked the chains again after one of the men pocketed them and reproduced them again for sale. It's a shame that these people are so slick at scamming and robbing unsuspecting folks like this guy, because if they can put their minds to something like this, then they could possibly come up with a plan to bring down terrorists! Great example.... The movie 'Catch Me If You Can', which is a true story of Frank Abignale, who stole millions by making fake checks and cashing them, after he was arrested and jailed, the Feds hired him to work for them catching other forgers.
North Hills Hooligan February 14, 2013 at 01:21 AM
I don't buy the store owners story. First off, these places buy stolen jewelry every day from junkies and burglars. $1,600 for two chains...no way. Even if the chains were worth that, the junkies would only be given one or two hundred for them.

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