Dallas County DA: Theft Ring Used Fake Traveler's Checks

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    The Dallas County District Attorney's Office says thieves used fake traveler's checks to buy merchandise and then flew to California to return the goods for money. (Published Tuesday, June 11, 2013)

    Two people have been arrested in Dallas in connection with a retail theft ring that uses counterfeit traveler's checks, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said.

    Investigators say the Oakland, Calif.-based thieves used fake traveler's checks to buy merchandise in North Texas and then exchanged the items for cash in California.

    "We've never seen a scam like this," District Attorney Craig Watkins said in a press release. "Several individuals would fly to the North Texas area from various states to buy merchandise, and then they would fly to different cities acting as tourists to return the goods to the same store to get cash. We need local stores to contact us if they suspect that they have fallen victim to this scheme."

    More than two dozen stores in North Texas have been victims of the scheme, the DA's office said. The thieves have stolen about $100,000 so far, investigators said.

    "We want retailers and everyone to be aware," Tony Robinson, district attorney's office chief investigator. "It affects the bottom line of the corporations, and they have to pass that loss on to consumers."

    In addition to the two people arrested in Dallas, eight other arrests have been made nationwide. More arrests are expected.

    The suspects range in age from 26 to 19. Their names and mugshots have not yet been made public because they are cooperating with investigators.