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German cops cuff Brit potato iPod scammer

Bag of spuds conman has had his chips

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German police have cuffed a British conman for fleecing Germans with the classic "bag of spuds" electronic device scam.

According to the Sun, the unnamed* man and an accomplice ingeniously posed as skint tourists in Dusseldorf, offering laptops, iPods and cameras in return for quick cash. When the "gullible" locals took possession of their bargains, they found the bags containing the purchases had been switched, and they were left with nothing more than potatoes.

The scheme came to an abrupt end when a witness saw the pair working their magic and tipped off cops. One was arrested following a chase, while the other was able to make good his escape. Police described the 20-year-old fugitive as possibly armed, and warned the public to give him a wide berth.

Police spokeswoman Juliane Kahr said: "We have identified 26 cases which we believe the British suspects were involved in. We are appealing for anyone else that may have been conned to come forward."

The bag of spuds scam commonly uses a laptop as a lure. In March last year, a Portsmouth student was taken for £600, while South London students were in 2005 warned to beware men bearing cut-price computing equipment. ®

Bootnote

*Kahr explained: "We cannot give out names or any other information to the case for privacy laws. The case is already with the state prosecution because the suspect is in custody and facing charges."

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