DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Flooring Warehouse organized its own sting operation after losing $40,000 in inventory to scammers.
“We were taken advantage of big time,” said Rachel Wiebe, the president of the Dallas Flooring Warehouse.
The company operates 10 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but fraudsters hit their locations in The Colony and Dallas.
STOLEN CREDIT CARDS AND FAKE ID
Wiebe says it’s normal for people to pay for orders over the phone. So no one thought twice when a customer provided his ID and credit card information over the phone, then sent someone to pick up the order.
It took weeks for Wiebe and others to realize the charges were fraudulent.
“It takes as much as two weeks for the credit card to be charged back,” Wiebe said.
Weibe said the crooks hit their location in The Colony three times before targeting the Dallas warehouse. Each location goes by a different name so she believes the customer didn’t realized he was ordering form the same company.
“I think he thought he was coming to another flooring store,” she said.
Weibe shared the ID and credit card info with The Ones for Justice team. The customer provided what appears to be a fake ID and a stolen credit card number.
While the names on the IDs appeared the same, the addresses were different. On one card, ‘Abilene’ was spelled incorrectly. Both licenses featured the same picture. The Ones for Justice traced the image to a flyer promoting a chiropractor’s event in Michigan.
TAKING THE LAW INTO THEIR OWN HANDS
When scammers hit the Dallas Flooring Warehouse the fourth time, Wiebe and her crew were ready.
They placed an iPhone in one of the flooring pallets in hopes of tracking the delivery.
The store’s surveillance video captured workers helping to load the pallets on the delivery truck. After loading the products, they followed the man.
“It was an adrenaline hike, if you will,” Wiebe said.
The truck drove to a resale store in Lancaster named The Last Inventory.
When the driver sold off the materials to the store’s owner, the team from Dallas Flooring Warehouse was there, along with Lancaster Police.
Alan Louis-Jacques, the driver of the truck, was arrested on an outstanding traffic citation. The Colony Police Department told The Ones for Justice that it is investigating the Dallas Flooring Warehouse incident.
“The investigation is still ongoing and the detective does have persons of interest, but no arrest have been made by the Colony Police Department,” a spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
An email from March 8 obtained by The Ones for Justice states that The Colony PD issued an arrest warrant for a suspect, but the person could not be located. An officer did not immediately respond to questions about who that suspect is.
The Dallas Flooring Warehouse recovered its materials, but employees said the true victory was solving the case.
“You gotta be vigilant in everything you do in this business to make sure it’s not someone taking advantage of you,” Wiebe said.
The Ones for Justice reached out Louis-Jaques for comment but did not hear back.
The number for the customer who placed the orders no longer works.
Tony Portugal, the owner of The Last Inventory, said he had no idea the material he purchased was stolen. He immediately returned the stolen flooring to its rightful owners.
If you believe you are dealing with a fake credit card, you can run the number through a verification site or call the number on the card to verify.