Police bust Best Buy theft ring

By Laura Geller - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - An alleged theft ring from Queens, New York has been stopped right here in Central Virginia. Henrico Police say they've arrested four members of that ring after they conned Best Buy stores throughout the state out of thousands of dollars of electronics.

Police say these crooks somehow manufactured credit cards and fake IDs they were actually able to use to purchase high-end electronics equipment. Authorities are thanking Best Buy employees at the Virginia Center Commons location for putting an end to the elaborate scheme.

This is not your typical case of theft. There's no stolen cash, credit cards or checks. Police say the four men used credit cards they actually made themselves to purchase thousands of dollars of electronics from Best Buy stores and then sell the merchandise on the street.

Police are calling the ring a "very sophisticated group."

Employees at the Virginia Center Commons location alerted authorities when they saw a gang of men they'd been warned about by managers at other Best Buy stores.

"A lot of times you can often tell when people are up to no good," said Henrico Police Lt. Doug Perry.

Henrico Police say the suspects tried to buy items at the Brook Road store Wednesday, but ran when they realized store employees had become suspicious.  After a brief chase through the woods, police captured them.

Before that, though, they allegedly hit Best Buy stores throughout the Commonwealth, in Short Pump, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Manassas and Gainesville.

All four men face two counts of credit card fraud, credit card forgery and conspiracy charges. Police recovered more than $10,000 worth of merchandise. They say they never could have done this without the help of the Best Buy employees.

"They were very attentive to detail. They saw these guys come in, as soon as they came in they called us. That enabled us to get up there in time to catch them," said Lt. Perry. "We can't do it alone. There's only so many of us."

Police say the investigation is just beginning. They believe the gang from New York may have carried out this scheme in cities up and down the East Coast.

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