5 arrested in Nashville gift card scam

February 6, 2010 4:24:45 PM PST
Police in Tennessee arrested five Bay Area residents Wednesday after a gift card scam was uncovered by Nashville International Airport security personnel who noticed hundreds of magnetic striped cards in a suitcase.

Investigators believe the group flew into Nashville, Tenn., from California on Tuesday, rented a vehicle and traveled to various Walmarts in the area to purchase gift cards with stolen credit information, police said.

The suspects, Sylvester Knight, 42, of San Ramon; David Lyles, 35, of San Leandro; Aisha Garrison, 29, James Edward Johnson, 24, and Devin Leverett, 34, all three of whom are from Oakland, were stopped while trying to fly back to California on Wednesday, according to police.

Traffic Security Administration officials notified the Secret Service, and Nashville police fraud detectives were called to assist with the investigation.

Another man from the group left the airport and authorities still had not found or identified him as of Friday, police said.

The five suspects were charged with conspiracy to commit fraudulent use of a credit card and conspiracy to commit identity theft, according to police.

The group is also suspected in similar crimes throughout the country.


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