The operator of a Winnipeg ice cream shop is warning other business owners to watch out for a scam artist whose sleight of hand almost went unnoticed if it weren't for security cameras.

Brenda Dietrich, who runs the Marble Slab location on Kenaston Boulevard, says her shop was targeted by a man who bought a small ice cream with a large bill and confused the employee by asking for change several times — then pocketed some of the money amid the confusion.

"I think he should be stopped. I'm sure he's hit up more before me and maybe people just aren't coming forward," Dietrich told CBC News on Tuesday.

"Hopefully people will come forward and will stop him."


Surveillance video from the Marble Slab shop on Kenaston Boulevard shows a man trying to exchange bills with an employee multiple times. (Submitted by Brenda Dietrich)

The store's surveillance camera footage shows the man buying a small ice cream cone with a $50 bill on June 24.

When he gets his change back, the man asks the young female employee for more change for $20 bills.

The employee appears confused following that exchange, and the man offers to help count her float.

"She gave him a stack of $20s he counted back, and if you watch the video he counts back and pushes it to her. And as he's pushing the $20s to her, he pockets the rest," Dietrich said.

Dietrich, who handed the surveillance video to police on Tuesday, said she believes the man is a professional and she hopes releasing the video will put him out of business.

Winnipeg police Const. Jason Michalyshen says he can see how confusion may have arisen during the money exchange which lasted almost three minutes.

"The interaction between the employee and this male that entered the business is lengthy and there's a lot of money being exchanged back and forth, so I can certainly see that there might be some confusion," he said.

Police are encouraging store owners to warn their staff about customers who ask to exchange their change.