Man accused of trying to scam cash from metro Denver pet stores

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DENVER -- A scam artist hitting pet food stores is getting more elaborate with his scheme.

Pet food shops said the man is going to great lengths to get cash that isn’t his.

Small-business owners said every little bit hurts and the more stores he hits, the angrier they are getting. On Thursday, one store released surveillance video in hopes someone knows who he is.

The scam happened Sunday at Wag N Wash Healthy Pet Center in Highlands Ranch.

“We were just about to close, we were having a puppy training class and this gentleman came in,” owner Catherine Davies said. “He started talking in circles about how the bag of food had weevils in it."

He claimed to have found bugs in his dog food and told her he wanted a cash refund of $90.

“He browbeat and belittled me to try to give him that money,” Davies said.

She didn’t give it to him and Monday, he tried another store in Littleton. This one caught him on surveillance trying the same thing.

During the past month, the man has also hit pet stores in Lakewood, Denver and a different store in Highlands Ranch.

“Why me? I'm a small-business owner you know,” Davies said.

In one case, a store operator said the man brought bugs in a plastic bottle as “proof.”

“For him to go out and do that in the hopes of getting $90, why don’t you go get a real job and just earn your money like the rest of us? Why try to steal it from everybody else?” Davies said.

Each stores said the man couldn’t produce the bag of food in question or proof of purchase. Now they are warning other small businesses before the scammer hits again.

“We’re a family basically so its very hurtful when somebody tries to do that and steal from you. I take it personal,”  Davies said.

One of the stores hit said the man goes by the name Josh Turner.

He’s about 6-foot with shoulder-length dark hair and often wears a ball cap or cowboy hat. He also claims to work for a local dog kennel.