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Two arrested in string of Wal-Mart thefts

January 18, 2012

REXBURG — Two men who police say were part of a much larger crime ring based in Florida were arrested Friday after making fraudulent purchases at Walmart stores in Blackfoot, Chubbuck, Rexburg, Mountain Home and Boise.
Rexburg Police Capt. Randy Lewis said Onis Alvarez-Rodriguez, 27, and Alejandro Perez-Castellanos, 19, were arrested Friday afternoon after they attempted to purchase an iPad 2 with a fraudulent credit card at the Rexburg Walmart.
Lewis said they recovered 38 cards from the two men including 19 Walmart gift cards and 11 pre-paid Visa cards valued at more than $10,000 and eight fraudulent credit cards. Six of the gift cards were purchased in Blackfoot using the fraudulent credit cards, Lewis said. They also had various fake identification cards, eight iPad 2's and other merchandise.
An email sent through a regional law enforcement and retail information sharing network tipped off an employee at the Rexburg Walmart, who spotted the men and notified police.
Both men have been charged with felony grand theft by possession and attempted grand theft, but Lewis said many additional charges are likely to be filed in the various counties and states where crimes were committed. The two men are being held in the Madison County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Lewis said they believe the men were working as "runners" for a large crime ring based out of Florida. The men had identification from Florida and New York.

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