Tigard police seize iPhones destined for Hong Kong in fraud inve - KPTV - FOX 12

Tigard police seize iPhones destined for Hong Kong in fraud investigation

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Evidence photo of seized iPhones in fraud investigation from Tigard PD Evidence photo of seized iPhones in fraud investigation from Tigard PD
Evidence photo of seized gift cards in fraud investigation from Tigard PD Evidence photo of seized gift cards in fraud investigation from Tigard PD
Evidence photo of seized FedEx boxes filled with iPhones in fraud investigation from Tigard PD Evidence photo of seized FedEx boxes filled with iPhones in fraud investigation from Tigard PD
TIGARD, OR (KPTV) -

Tigard police seized hundreds of iPhones as part of a fraud investigation that detectives said involved shipping the phones from Oregon to Hong Kong.  

The case began Dec. 4 when investigators with the Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit were participating in a mission to identify possible organized retail theft occurring at Washington Square Mall.

During the operation, a Tigard Police Department detective observed a man making purchases at the Apple Store using a large stack of gift cards. Police said that can be indicative of organized retail crime.

Investigators followed the suspect, who was seen opening the trunk of a rental car that was packed full of Apple shopping bags.

The suspect and a passenger drove away from the mall and were quickly stopped by police on Highway 217 in Tigard.

Police said the suspects cooperated with the investigation by allowing officers to search the vehicle, which led to the seizure of 470 iPhones worth around $292,000. Hundreds of gift cards and transaction records were also found, totaling more than $585,000.

Further investigation led detectives to a nearby FedEX store, where police said numerous boxes had been dropped off earlier by the same suspects. The boxes all contained iPhones and were destined for Hong Kong, according to police.

The boxes were seized by investigators.

Police said the phones were purchased at Apple Stores at Washington Square Mall and Bridgeport Village. Investigators said the fraudulent gift card purchases were directly linked to counterfeit credit cards with origins in southern California.

Police said the extent of the fraudulent purchases likely totals $750,000.

No arrests have been made, according to Tigard police, but multiple agencies are now involved in the investigation.

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