Local News

Cary Police Target Gift Card Scam

Posted May 27, 2004 7:36 a.m. EDT

— Police say thieves are using stolen account numbers to buy gift cards at Triangle Target stores.

Cary detectives started investigating the scam last month after receiving a phone call from New York, where a man said his credit card was being used at a Cary store.

Investigators uncovered what appears to be a big-time operation.

Store surveillance video shows the same group of people using gift cards at the a Cary Target. Investigators say the video actually shows a credit card theft ring at work.

"We're up to a point now where we're talking thousands of dollars just in this area alone," said Detective Stephan Lampert of the Cary Police Department.

Lampert says the same two men made three trips to the same store on May 19. Each time, they used gift cards worth at least $300 to buy big-ticket items like TVs, VCRs and stereos.

"I think they're pressing their luck, so to speak, coming back to the same store. We may have seen the last of them because they know they're running out of time," he said.

Lampert says the biggest clue came from connecting the numbers.

"All the credit cards are interlinked and all the gift cards are interlinked. We can tell where they were purchased and where they were used. It all seems to point back to one group of people," he said.

Investigators believe the same group of people have hit a total of seven Target stores in Garner, Raleigh and Rocky Mount.

The two men are seen several times with three women, and even a young child. Lampert says they are smart. In the video, the subjects do not look up, keeping the camera from seeing their faces.

Detectives believe the people in the video live in the Triangle. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (919) 226-2746.