The Findlay Police Department needs your help identifying suspects involved in an identity theft scheme. Police say the thieves use store gift cards to steal hundreds of dollars and are getting away with it by the help of a local gas station.
"Walmarts in Lima, OH, Findlay, Bowling Green and Oregon, OH, were all compromised on the same date," said Det. Jay Myers with the FPD.
The elaborate crimes have been ongoing for months, but now the FBI is getting involved.
Police say the suspects start by stealing someone's identity and using it to apply for a credit card. Then they walk into retail stores, like Walmart, and buy $800 in gift cards by using their "new" credit cards.
"After they purchase these cards, they go back. I've tracked them to Southfield and Southgate, MI, where the gift cards are being used at Sam's Club. It appears that they're being used to purchase $800 worth of cigarettes," explained Myers.
However, it is not the thieves who are buying those cigarettes. According to police, they sell the gift cards to convenience store owners at a discount. Then the store owners go to stores, like Costco, and buy cigarettes in bulk for their stores.
"It needs to be stopped. In Findlay alone, $1,600 worth of cards have been purchased. It seems like a victimless crime, but it does cost money, and it hurts us all in the long run," said Myers.
If you have any information or can recognize the suspects, contact the Findlay Police Investigations Division at 419-424-7164 or CrimeStoppers at 419-425-TIPS. All callers may remain anonymous.
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Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:54:07 GMT
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