Kennewick Gift Card Scam Busted - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Gift Card Scam Busted

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A pair of alleged thieves devise a scheme to make fast cash from a Kennewick store. But the thieves didn't realize store workers would catch on so quickly.

During the holidays, there's a good chance you probably picked up a gift card. You can take it to the store get what you want. But police said the schemers in this case tried to squeeze money out of cards that didn't belong there in the first place.

Now days you can use a gift card pretty much anywhere. They sell them at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Kennewick. That's where 55-year-old John Vail and 39-year-old Cherri Norman supposedly thought they could make some fast cash.

The pair allegedly shoplifted $400 worth of goods.  Returned the items for a gift card. Then sold the card for cheap online at Craig's List.

But it didn't stop there, once sold the pair immediately came back to the store and claimed the card was lost. Customer service issued a new one. And the pair started the cycle all over again. On paper the plan worked like a charm, but the pair didn't account for the store's friendly staff.

"We try to be aggressive in customer service and in doing that you notice, Did somebody go in with an item? Did they come out with an item? What are they doing?" said Sportsman's Warehouse Store Manager Brian Howald.  

Workers cracked the clever scheme and police arrested the pair for 2nd degree theft.

But officers warn more victims might be out there.

"So we're in the very early stages of our investigation. There could be other stores involved, other victims," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Lattin warns if you see a deal that looks to good to be true, it probably is.

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