Stop Thief! Refund fraud in Bartlett - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Stop Thief! Refund fraud in Bartlett

By Andy Wise - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

The suspects below triple-teamed a Bartlett, TN, department store to steal not only merchandise, but also more than $600 in cash.

Detectives with the Shelby County Sheriff's ALERT Unit (Area Law Enforcement & Retailers Team) say the store's cash refund policy enabled the thieves to pull off their stunt.

"I don't like the cash refund," said Det. Dee Bowling of ALERT.  "It gives these thieves another way to take that money out of your pocket, out of the retailer's pocket, and right back into their pocket."

The Action News 5 Scam Cam captured the thieves' entire refund fraud, but the Action News 5 Investigators have decided not to show how they pull it off. 

Unlike 'box-stuffing' thefts that retailers have learned how to identify and prevent, this particular refund theft is relatively new, and we don't want to give anyone any ideas.

In addition to the cash refund, the thieves got away with a $150 cookware set and a $448 Hoover bagless vacuum cleaner.  Retailers tag an extra $3.05 on every one of those Hoover models to pad theft losses like this one.

Bowling said the female suspect with the neon-green peace shirt had at least one of her kids in tow for the heist.

"She was using some kind of diversionary tactic with the kid," he said.  "After they loaded the stolen merchandise into the trunk of (a white 4-door sedan), she gets into the car, and they all take off."

Know these three?  Know where they took off?

If so, click here:

http://www.shelby-sheriff.org/le/alert.html

That's the web site of the ALERT Unit.  You'll find a link at the bottom of the home page where you can e-mail anonymous tips to ALERT's detectives.  You can also call ALERT's secure tip line at 901-756-LOSS.

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