My recounting of a scam that took place in Kulwinder Dehal’s off licence, Wine Happiness, in Birmingham (C-Store, March 14), triggered an email from Lizzy Hopson, director of a Budgens in Lyndhurst, Hampshire.

Similar scenario: two blokes ordering loads of booze and counting out a wad of cash. Whereas Kulwinder managed to grab the money and count it a second time, finding that half of it had disappeared, Budgens staff lost out by £110 and the men got away.

As these events happened a few days apart Lizzy wanted to compare notes, so I got in touch with Kulwinder only to hear that police had arrested one of the men (the CCTV images were very good quality), charged him and he is due to appear in court. If Lizzy’s CCTV pictures are good enough, they could strengthen the case.

Even if they weren’t the same two guys, it makes the point that these cons come in waves.

I’m reminded of the story about birds – great tits, in particular – that collectively know how to peck at milk bottle tops to get the cream. It is thought that they are energetic social networkers (possible even on Twitter!) and so word spreads swiftly. Do you suppose there is something similar going on in the underworld where crims spread the word on easy pickings?