Alleged counterfeit gift card operation found in Bassett home

BASSETT — Police jailed four people Friday who allegedly had an operation in their Bassett home to counterfeit Toys-R-Us store gift cards, authorities said.
Rudy Garcia, 33, Rudy Garcia, 57, Sylvia Garcia, 56, and Natalie Gonsalez, 26, were booked on suspicion of burglary and making fraudulent gift cards, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Steven Katz said in a written statement.

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The older Garcia was not charged with the counterfeiting operation, but was arrested for an outstanding drunken driving warrant.
All four live in the same house in the 1300 block of Duryea Avenue, however the relationships between them were not clear Friday.
After an “extensive” investigation, officials arrested the four Friday about 7 a.m., officials said.
“Detectives discovered a complete operation for printing and embossing fraudulent Toys-R-Us gift cards,” the statement said.
Officials found computers, printers and about $5,000 worth of Toys-R-Us merchandise allegedly bought with the fake cards, Katz said.
Authorities were tipped of by Toys-R-Us personnel, who reported many customers with valid gift cards were finding their balances had been drained, the lieutenant said.
Detective became suspicious of the suspects after a single phone number that was ultimately tracked to the their house was found to be responsible for 4,600 calls to the Toys-R-Us automatic gift card balance phone line, Katz said.
The suspects were allegedly transferring balanced from valid cards to the ones they made at home, officials said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, the younger Rudy Garcia, who was on probation, was being held without bail, the older Garcia was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail, Sylvia Garcia was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and Natalie Gonsalez was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

PHOTO of equipment allegedly used to make the fake gift cards courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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