Thieves busted in string of Target robberies using fake checks

by: Ross Cavitt Updated:

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HIRAM, Ga.,None - Surveillance video from a Cobb County Target store has led to the arrests of a group on a multi-state crime spree which police say used fake checks to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"They were able to beat the check verifying system that Target has now," Lt. Brian Acree of the Hiram Police Department said.

Investigators told Channel 2's Ross Cavitt the group of four figured out how to print bogus checks with account numbers and amounts that passed security and let them walk out with a bunch of Christmas presents.

"They were also purchasing small amounts of merchandise and for the larger amounts they were getting gift cards, VISA gift cards that they could use anywhere," Acree said.

Investigators believe the group learned some inside information about how Target's check security system worked.

Surveillance video showed as a cashier tried unsuccessfully several times to get one suspect's check through the reader, the suspect appears to give him a code to punch in, that eventually let the reader accept the check.

And soon he, and a boy described as his grandson, were headed off with a cartful.

Hiram Police stopped the group after a frantic 911 call and soon learned the store had been desperate to catch them for months.

"Target told us they'd been looking for them since August of this year. And they have scammed Target in excess of $107,000 thus far," Acree said.

One of the four admitted to hitting 20 metro Targets and stores in four different states.

Because the crew would use small children as distractions in their crimes, police will charge them with child cruelty along with a long list of other charges.



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