Apple Inc. Store in the Chicago area was the target of an “organized criminal enterprise.” Last week, six people from New York were arrested and charged for their part in the “organized criminal enterprise” that sought to allegedly defraud a Chicago area Apple Store by using stolen credit cards and identities.
Increased surveillance helped catch the suspects
As per the report of Chicago Tribune, Christopher Covelli – a spokesman for the sheriff’s office – said that the New Yorkers, ranging in age from 18 to 41, would fly in to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, rent a car and travel to a nearby Apple Store with intent to allegedly attempt a fraudulent purchase.
The Lake County sheriff’s department said through further investigation they found that the suspects were using stolen credit card numbers and stolen identities of victims throughout the country to make the purchases. Six people allegedly tried to commit fraud at the store between Wednesday and Sunday.
Last week, after an Apple Inc. store in Schaumburg was targeted, highway patrol deputies and detectives from the sheriff’s office increased surveillance and patrols at a local Apple store in Deer Park. And, this helped the police in arresting the suspects, the Lake County sheriff’s department said. In addition, authorities recovered over $10,000 worth of stolen Apple products successfully from the alleged suspects.
Apple Stores – very lucrative for criminals
Each of the six people allegedly tried to commit fraud at the same Deer Park Apple Store over a period of five days, said the sheriff’s office in a statement. As per the police, those arrested and charged were: Nicole E. Cannon (Age 21), Gisselle Diaz (Age 41), Corbett Ortiz (Age 26), Melinda Aquino (Age 21), Frank Aulet (Age 20), and Quinton Ortiz (Age 18).
Nicole E. Cannon attempted to make a purchase on Wednesday using stolen credit card information and identification at the location while Gisselle Diaz did the same on Friday. All six of them face many felony charges including possession of a counterfeit credit card, burglary, unlawful use of a fraudulent ID to commit theft, use of a counterfeit credit card, forgery and identity theft. All six of them were being held in the County Jail.
“It’s not common we have out-of-state individuals in a scheme like this traveling from other states,” Covelli said.
Apple Inc. stores have long been the target of criminals looking to make fast money, thanks to Apple’s concentration of high-ticket items. For instance, in June, thieves posing as Apple Store employees stole more than $16,000 worth of iPhones from Apple’s SoHo outlet in New York. And, earlier this year, Apple’s Upper West Side store was hit twice by thieves, who ran away with dozens of iPhones worth tens of thousands of dollars.