A search of the suspects' room at the Courtyard by Marriott on Riverfront Drive in Bradenton led to the discovery of a cloning machine, a computer, a thumb drive with stolen credit card numbers and more credit cards, according to investigators.
More than 50 credit cards and approximately $3,000 worth of gift cards also were found in the couple's rental car, parked at the Burlginton Coat Factory Tuesday in Sarasota, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies allege that the pair used "cloned" credit cards to buy gift cards at more than a half-dozen stores in southwest Florida on Tuesday, from Zephyrhills to Port Charlotte.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's office arrested the two Tuesday night, after being alerted to suspicious activity at a Walmart store, where they tried to buy gift cards.
Investigators allege that the two flew from New York to Florida to fraudulently buy the gift cards. Graisy Pichardo, 22, and Myles Nicholas, 26, face the following charges, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office:
- Trafficking in Counterfeit Credit Cards,
- Grand Theft, two counts,
- Petit Theft,
- Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, three counts.
The Tactical Unit responded and found the suspects in a rental vehicle at the Burlington Coat Factory in Sarasota, according to a written release by the Sheriff's Office.
Detectives are continuing the investigation with a number of other jurisdictions. Additional charges, including multiple counts of Identity Theft, are pending.
This investigation and quick apprehension of the suspects was possible because of the public-private partnership the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has developed with national retailers and their local loss prevention officers in an ongoing effort to stop retail theft and fraud.