It’s not exactly the Bling Ring, but Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested the remaining fugitive in what officials say was a scheme built around fraudulent Macy’s gift cards that targeted more than 40 stores and netted more than $200,000.
Richard Reyes Duenas, 30, was arrested in Las Vegas and booked Thursday in Los Angeles County on felony charges including grand theft, conspiracy to commit fraud and access card fraud, officials said.
Duenas had been hunted by authorities since he was charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors in January 2012.
According to police, Duenas worked with four other men -- Justin Delgadillo, Noemi Fuentefria, Geovani Vega and Daniel Alvarez -- who together stole data and sold forged Macy’s gift cards on the street.
Police said Duenas obtained inactive Macy's gift card numbers and PIN codes, forged cards using those numbers and sold them. Other cards, authorities said, were used by the men to buy Apple merchandise.
The men hauled in about $218,000 overall, according to prosecutors. The others in the case have been convicted.
Police said the ring was uncovered when Duenas was pulled over during a traffic stop in 2010 and claimed he was a "sovereign citizen," one of a group of people who refuse to recognize government law and authority.
Duenas was arrested during the stop and a search of his car turned up 16 fake Macy’s gift cards, according to police.