Wagswoofs – The Special Problems Unit in Stafford recently apprehended three individuals from New York who are believed to be connected to a large-scale retail fraud operation spanning multiple states.
On December 18, the SCSO received information that the suspects involved in the fraud case, which was spreading across several states, were located at the Target in Stafford Market Place. First Sergeant D.F. Purcell Jr., Deputy M.A. Pearce, and Deputy E.C. Taylor were actively working on the case at the time.
The men were suspected of participating in a scheme in which they purchased Apple electronics, swapped them with counterfeit items, resealed the packaging, and attached security tags. According to SCSO, the group would then return the counterfeit items in exchange for gift cards or refunds.
On Monday, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) revealed that the arrests were made at Target following the completion of a fraudulent transaction by one of the men. The second suspect witnessed his alleged accomplice being apprehended and made an unsuccessful attempt to flee. Meanwhile, the third individual tried to reach the getaway car but was also detained.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) confiscated a substantial amount of stolen merchandise with a total value of $91,413. The seized items included various genuine Apple products, such as 96 iPads, 37 Air Pods, four series 9 Apple watches, and nine Apple Watch Ultra 2s. Additionally, the police also discovered and confiscated counterfeit goods, including 87 Air Pods, 49 watch bands, nine iPads, and 44 series 9 Apple watches.
The three men have been charged with a range of offenses, including obtaining money through deception, conspiring to commit crimes, possessing stolen property with the intention to sell, and drug possession.
Sheng Chen, who is 24 years old, and Hong Liu, who is 23 years old, are listed as residents of Brooklyn. On the other hand, Riu Lin, also 24 years old, is listed as a resident of Flushing.
All three individuals were denied bond and they are currently being held at Rappahannock Regional Jail. Their next court appearance is set for January 16th.