In January of 2014 The District Attorney’s Office asked the Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff’s Station to conduct an investigation involving a large group of suspects who have conspired to defraud Target Stores for financial gain. The investigation was initiated in Apple Valley in 2012 by Deputy Crosswhite, case# 181206521 and the case was submitted to the district attorney. Deputy D.A. Grover Merritt requested significant follow-up investigation to prove the conspiracy and figured the loss to be approaching $1,000,000 to Target Stores.
The suspects fraudulently made checks and identifications to purchase goods from Target Stores across the Southern California region. The suspects used fraudulent checks and their own photo identifications and would encode the identity of countless victims on California Drivers licenses and identifications. After purchasing the goods, the suspects returned the goods at different Target stores for cash.
Based upon the evidence and the corresponding data provided by Target Loss Prevention, Rancho Cucamonga Detectives drafted over 50 search warrants and began organizing a massive sweep operation. Local law enforcement agencies were contacted to assist in the investigation, including: the San Bernardino Police Department, Fontana Police Department, Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Hemet Police Department, and Sheriff’s Personnel from Chino Hills, Highland, Yucaipa, Fontana, Central, and Victor Valley stations.
A total of 19 arrests were made over a three day period. Copiers, printers, card encoding machines, blank check stock, and over 300 printed checks were located at the initial suspect’s residence. Also located were Target bags with receipts for merchandise ready to be returned as well as, a large amount of Target receipts that show store credit had been issued for purchases that had been already returned.
Refer: Sgt. Kleczko and Detective J. Calvert
Station: Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff’s Department
Phone No. 909 477 2800
Case No. 111400750