Crime Alert: Two Variations on the Flim-Flam

The Penn Police are currently investigating two separate types of fraud incidents reported in the University City area. Both are considered cases of theft commonly known as a "Flim-Flam."

In the first incident, at 40th and Chestnut Streets, a student was approached by an actor who stated that he was new to the United States and in need of assistance regarding lodgings. A woman entered the conversation posing as a sympathetic passer-by. Ultimately, the student was asked to place her jewelry and cash into a handkerchief along with what was represented as $5,000 in cash. The student was asked to hold the handkerchief for the actor until he obtained secure lodgings. The handkerchief given to the student contained only a roll of paper.

In the second scenario, a female actor, described below, has approached individuals at 32nd and Market Streets during the evening hours requesting help with a dead car battery. The actor has successfully obtained cash, supposedly to purchase a new car battery, and has prefaced her requests by falsely stating that she is an employee of the Newman Center, 3720 Chestnut Street.

First Incident: Black male: 30 years of age, 5'10", a pproximately 140 lbs., full lips, brown teeth; last seen wearing: brown and black-patterned shirt, dark baseball cap, blue and white "Fila" sneakers; walks with a distinct limp, has a South African accent; displayed "$5,000." Black Female: 20-30 years of age, 5'5", blonde hair; last seen wearing gold earrings.

Second Incident: Black female: 30-35 years of age, 5'5", black hair; last seen wearing pale purple sweatshirt and tan pants, nose stud with red stone; claims to be an employee of the Newman Center.

Safety Tips:

Persons with information regarding the two incidents described above may contact the Penn Police Department at the below-listed telephone numbers:

Penn Police: 898-7297

Penn Detectives: 898-4485

Victim Support: 898-4481/6600

--Officer Ann Haines and Lt. Susan Holmes


Volume 42 Number 30
April 30, 1996

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