Man made more than $1 million in scam using fake bar codes at big-box retailers, police said

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WXIN/CNN) - Police say the man accused of running a $1 million shoplifting scam is behind bars.

Court documents said the suspect targeted places like Walmart and Target, then sold the stolen items online.

The scheme may have been going on for nearly 10 years.

At a Target in Carmel, Ind., a suspect walked to the toy aisle, picked up a Lego Star Wars set worth $169, slapped a fake bar code on the box and checked out for just $20.

Police claimed that crime was duplicated countless times spanning nearly a decade at Target and Walmart stores in Carmel, Fishers, Avon and Plainfield, allowing 35-year-old Ryan Walker to pocket more than $1 million.

As an example of how the scam worked, prosecutors claimed Walker bought a $200 Sonicare toothbrush at Walmart for just $24.97. Then he sold the same model on eBay for $122.50, profiting $97.53 from just that one sale.

The affidavit showed that Walker’s eBay account called War Electronics received in excess of $1.1 million since it was created in 2010.

Prosecutors believe Walker sold 302 sewing/cutting machines, 285 electric toothbrushes, 233 Lego sets and much more from March 2018 to March of this year,

After several months of investigating, police searched a storage unit they claimed Walker rented and his home.

Court documents said officers found dozens of stolen items with fraudulent UPCs taped to the boxes.

Walker remains behind bars in the Hamilton County jail facing a variety of criminal charges.

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