Six suspects have been arrested and charged with grand larceny in what Nassau County police say is a sophisticated theft ring.
Investigators say credit card information was stolen from unsuspecting card holders in California, using a device called a skimming block.
That information, investigators reveal, was then re-encoded to the magnetic strip on gift cards, where they say they were used at Wal-Mart to purchase electronics and other items. This resulted in a loss of more than $125,000 to Wal-Mart and more than $100,000 to Citibank.
Police accuse Emmanuel Collins and Ramell Green with making the purchases.
"They will go in with this gift card, when actually it is somebody's MasterCard or Citibank card," said Lt. Kevin Smith of the Nassau County Police.
But what Wal-Mart security personnel first discovered, according to police, was four employees, Sherrill Green, Tiffany Kinard, Chenelle Overstreet and Andrea Kindle also were allegedly involved in the ring.
"When these four employees were working, two men would come in and start to buy merchandise and additional gift cards that they could re-encode," said Lt. Smith.
Investigators and the Crimes Against Property Squad moved in - first arresting three of the employees, and then as they are about to arrest the fourth, who shows up?
"While our team was in place, these two men came in with gift cards - re-encoded gift cards to conduct more thievery," Lt. Smith said.
All six are being charged with multiple counts of grand larceny. Emmanuel Collins and Ramell Green also face multiple counts of possessing a forged instrument.