North Texas police seize more than 4,000 gift cards worth more than $1.7 million in fraud investigation

North Texas police seize more than 4,000 gift cards worth more than .7 million in fraud investigation

North Texas police recently arrested suspects involved in “a sophisticated multi-state gift card counterfeiting ring” after investigators recovered more than 4,000 gift cards worth more than $1.7 million, according to the Burleson Police Department.

Burleson officers were alerted June 27 by a Flock Safety automated license plate reader that flagged a vehicle linked to fraudulent activity at Home Depot stores, police said in a news release.

A Burleson officer assigned to the Fort Worth Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center notified patrol officers, who found the suspicious car in a Target parking lot at 200 NW John Jones Drive, next to the Home Depot in Burleson. Officers saw two men leave the Target store and get into a Honda Accord. The car drove onto Southwest Wilshire Boulevard, where officers observed a traffic violation and conducted a traffic stop, the release said.

As officers approached the Accord, they saw a large number of gift cards in plain sight. They arrested the suspects and conducted a probable cause search. Officers found “more than 1,000 gift cards neatly wrapped and organized into bundles and boxes,” leading to the arrest of the suspects, the release said.

As the investigation continued, Burleson police coordinated with other agencies, including a U.S. Secret Service task force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, organized retail crime prevention teams for Home Depot and Target, and police from Fort Worth, Colleyville, Euless and Carrollton.

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The investigation led to a hotel in Carrollton and officers obtained a search warrant. Officers recovered a total of 4,017 gift cards with an estimated value of $1,720,050.

Both suspects are charged with crimes including theft of property valued at more than $300,000, fraud and possession or use of credit or debit cards.