Monday afternoon, suspects in a multi-state counterfeiting ring, went into a Best Buy store at the Manchester Highlands Shopping Center to return electronics. The suspects apparently tried to use what looked like an altered receipt and were denied a return.
Clerks then saw the group make the short walk to the Bed, Bath and Beyond store next door with more items. Clerks called police, who caught up with the group at the Wal-Mart in the shopping center.
Police say Stacey Clayton passed a counterfeit check for new merchandise.
Sergeant Dan Rehm says the store employees at Best Buy were instrumental in cracking the case.
Later, officers would find $5,000 in brand new merchandise and cash in the suspects' car along with receipts and fake ID's.
Police say the group knew how to work the system: using phony checks (some made with stolen bank account information) to buy thousands of dollars in items, then going back later to return the items for cash.
The suspects are: 23-year-old Stacey Clayton, of Jackson, FL
24-year-old Trenton Garrett, of Houston, TX
35-year-old Fredric Rahming, of Houston, TX
Police say some of the fake checks were made from stolen bank account information. Detectives believe there are at least 12 identity theft victims and so far, all are from the Houston area.