Six New York residents were charged today after authorities discovered they were attempting to make fraudulent purchases at various Apple retail locations in the Chicago area. According to the Chicago Tribune, the six people were charged in “an organized criminal enterprise.”
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According to officials, the people would fly into O’Hare International Airport, rent a car, and visit Apple Stores in an attempt to make fraudulent purchases. The suspects used false identities and stolen credit card numbers of various other people around the country in an attempt to make the purchases.
The sheriff’s office obtained information last week that the enterprise was attempting to make fraudulent purchases at various Apple stores in the Chicago area, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Further investigation revealed the suspects were using stolen identities and stolen credit card numbers of victims throughout the country to make the purchases, police said.
Authorities recently increased their presence and surveillance at the Deer Park Apple Store in Chicago, which ultimately led to the suspects being caught. The six people attempted to make fraudulent purchases between Wednesday and Sunday and were all arrested. Officials seized over $10,000 of Apple products, as well.
All of the six were charged with multiple felonies and were held in county jail, though two of the six were held without bail.
Sheriff spokesperson, Christopher Coveilli, noted in a news release that it’s not very common for these type of fraudulent operations to be run by people from other states. “It’s not common we have out-of-state individuals in a scheme like this traveling from other states,” he stated.
Apple Stores are a common target of robberies and fraud attempts due to the high value of the products sold. Just last month we heard of thieves posing as Apple Store staff and stealing $66,000 worth of iPhones. Perhaps most impressively, a man in Florida stole over $309,000 worth of goods from an Apple Store by simply using a debit card on a closed account.