APD warns businesses and restaurants against refund scam artist

Multiple Austin businesses reported a man claiming to be a customer in need of a refund stole large amounts of money. The Austin Police Department Property Crime Unit said Kevin Joseph Reese, 52, has done the theft of deception scam before and has been arrested for it.

Reese gathers information on the business owner. He then calls the business pretending to be the owner and tells the employee a customer will be by later in need of a refund.

Reese then shows up as the customer and takes the money. APD Property Crime Det. Julian Guzman said Reese was arrested back in March and released in the fall. 

On November, 25th he was caught on surveillance video performing the same scam at Midtown Corner store near Lamar and St. Johns. "In every surveillance video case that was provided to me it was the same individual who was identified as Kevin Reese," said Guzman.

He advises businesses and restaurants to be vigilant and re-evaluate their refund policies and procedures. "Talk to your staff, employees and make them aware if someone is demanding a refund of large amounts,” Guzman said. "Run through the policies that you have make sure they have information on who's calling and who's going to be arriving ask them to provide an ID."

Reese also has other prior theft charges in Waco and Tyler.

The Austin Police Department said if your business receives a call from Reese, call 311 and make a non-emergency report or 911 if this is actively happening.