Two Orlando, Fla., residents have been arrested after authorities say they bought sports card boxes, swapped UPC codes to get a lower price at checkout and then re-sold the items for a profit.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Orlando Regional Operations Center, Jesus L. Gil, 45, and Vivian C. Galarraga, 37, were involved in the organized retail theft scheme operating in the central Florida area.
Both were charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, a third degree felony.
Sports Collectors Daily has learned that the investigation began in January when FDLE was contacted by loss prevention officials at an area Target store.
Agents allege that Gil and Galarraga targeted Wal-Mart and Target stores in Orange County. According to authorities, the two would place copied UPC price stickers they had taken from cheaper packs purchased over the top of legitimate store price stickers. The two would then proceed through the store check out where the items would be scanned and the altered stickers triggered a lower price on the store register.
Detectives say Gil and Galarraga then paid for the cards, unlawfully obtaining them at a cheaper cost than the original price set by the retailer. Investigators believe the two would then resell cards from the more valuable packs on eBay.
Agents from the FDLE say they found thousands of sports cards and wrappers used in the theft ring inside the couple's apartment.
The long-running investigation came to a head when authorities arrested them as they were returning the cheaper packs to a store in Brevard County. Detectives told WFTV-TV that the two had made over 6,000 sales online.
Both have been booked into the Brevard County Jail on felony charges of organized scheme to defraud.