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Suspects allegedly used stolen credit card information to steal Visa giftcards

Auburn Target among the fraud victims
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Two women are still in custody after allegedly purchasing thousands of dollars in Visa giftcards in Auburn and Roseville with counterfeit credit cards, according to a press release from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office Thursday. Monique Smith, 38, of Brentwood, and Bailey Lucas, 21, of Hayward, purchased 70 Visa gift cards at Target stores in Auburn, Lincoln and Roseville Tuesday before being arrested. Security officers at the Auburn Target store became suspicious and began watching Lucas when she tried to purchase the gift cards with multiple credit cards, according Detective Jim Hudson, of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. When Lucas’ transaction did not go through she allegedly ran from the store. Placer County Sheriff’s deputies set up on the I-80 corridor and pulled over the suspects’ getaway vehicle, a Black Ford Escape, at Highway 65. Smith and Lucas made the purchases with credit card gift cards that were actually encoded with other people’s credit card information. “They had 12 encoded credit cards,” Hudson said. “When they go to the cashier it looks like a gift card and it is actually coming out of your account.” Most of the credit card victims were from Florida, according to the sheriff’s office. “They made the traffic stop on Highway 80. Some marijuana was found. At that point there were 70 some odd Visa gift cards found,” Hudson said. “We didn’t initially find the gift cards they used to purchase them with. They were able to take them from the spot in their car and hide them in the patrol car.” Target officials would not comment on the theft, but referred all questions related to the on-going investigation to local law enforcement, according to Meghan Mike, an associate specialist in the Target communications department. The sheriff’s office said consumers need to be careful not to allow other people access to their credit card information. “As always, citizens are reminded to never give their credit card numbers to anyone except a reputable business,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. ~Sara Seyydin