Updated:DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.,None - Thousands of race fans are starting to crowd Daytona Beach for Sunday's Daytona 500. However, they're not coming alone. Police interviewed a race fan on Thursday who was taken for thousands in cash and jewelry in a street-side card game scam that ended in strong armed robbery.
It's a trend that Daytona Beach police are warning about. It's a simple card game that race fans continue to fall for.
Magician Harry Allen owns "Daytona Magic" and knows a lot of card tricks, including the "three-card Monte." It's the trick traveling crooks lure victims in with.
"Keep your eye on the ace. The less you see is better for me. Where's the ace?" Allen said. "It's a full deck of Bicycle cards. Now, if you blink you'll miss this because the whole deck is now history."
Allen said anytime a street magician turns a trick into a gamble, you should walk away.
"It's a con. It's something you will not win at never, not a maybe. They may let you win the first time, but once they get the confidence going and the big money, you will never win," Allen said.
Race fan Joe McHugh watched WFTV's demonstration and admitted he'd likely be sucked into the con.
"Yes, I would. Just the way it was presented. It looked like maybe I could win some money," he said.
But police said that's where you go wrong. For the victims of Wednesday night's scams, it was even worse at the end of the game. Police said several con-men simply surrounded both victims and made all their valuables disappear.