A lone subject enters the store shortly after opening and presents a large bill for a small purchase. Knowing that the clerk will not have sufficient change in the register, the clerk will go to wherever additional working cash is stored. After seeing where the clerk retrieves the money, the lone subject then leaves the store.
A short time later, two other accomplices enter the store and make separate purchases of lottery tickets. The second accomplice makes a legitimate purchase and remains in the store. The third accomplice short changes the clerk for the lottery tickets and quickly leaves the store while the second accomplice is still at the counter. The second accomplice then goes outside and tells the clerk that the third subject is still outside. In an attempt to recover the money, the clerk runs outside to confront the suspect. At this point, while the clerk is occupied outside the store, trying to recover the under payment, the first suspect re-enters the store, goes to where the extra cash is stored and quickly steals the hidden cash, and leaves in less than thirty seconds. The clerk is usually unaware of the theft until long after the suspects have left.
The suspects are described as possibly Hispanic, typically three men, but in at least one case, the group consisted of two men and a woman, police say. They have so far hit two stores in Somerville and one in Everett.