Suspects Use Gift Cards to Buy Drugs

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Five people are facing charges connected to making a profit off returned merchandise that was taken directly from store shelves. The suspects then used the store-issued gift cards to buy heroin in the Fort Wayne area.

According to the Journal Gazette, the five suspects range between the ages of 28 and 37 years of age. They are facing both criminal and felony charges of corrupt business influence.

The suspects apparently went into different Lowe's Home Improvement stores in the Fort Wayne area and took things directly off the shelves.They would then go to customer service to return the items without a receipt and in exchange, the store would give them gift cards as reimbursement.

The gift cards were then sold at local pawn shops, sometimes at a discounted price, so the suspects could make a profit and buy drugs.

At least three others may have been involved in the operation.