Deputies bust gift card ring

Posted at 9:27 AM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 09:27:26-05

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — Law enforcement officials in central Florida say they have busted a business operation that purchased gift cards that had been knowingly obtained from returning stolen merchandise from big box stores.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that they had made 18 arrests during four raids on Monday in order to dismantle the operations of two Cash for Gift Cards businesses in Daytona Beach and Deltona.

Deputies say the operation made $2 million in less than a year.

Detectives say shoplifters would steal merchandise from the stores and then return the items, getting in-store credit on gift cards in return.

The shoplifters would then go to the Cash for Gift Cards businesses and sell the cards.

Detectives say the businesses knew the cards had been obtained illegally.