Murfreesboro police and Alabama authorities dismantled an alleged shoplifting ring involving Star Wars items and other toys, the Murfreesboro Police Department said.
Fraudulent UPC bar codes allegedly were used to purchase Star Wars-theme toys and other action figures for pennies on the dollar from around the Southeast, the MPD said. The toys were resold online.
Madison Alabama Police Department officers arrested James Adkins, 36, of Murfreesboro, and a co-conspirator, Daniel Germany, 44, on charges of Theft of Property in the Fourth Degree, Dec. 10. Adkins was also charged with Theft of Property in the Third Degree.
Adkins and Germany are accused of going to a Walmart store in Madison and replacing barcodes on toys with fraudulent ones, for a much lower price, MPD said. They would make the purchases at self-checkout registers. The two are accused of similar crimes in other parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.
The Alabama investigation led to a search warrant being executed at Adkins’ Murfreesboro home on Ursuline Drive on Dec. 13. Adkins’ wife, 29-year-old Taylor Melvin, was arrested and booked locally on charges of Theft and Criminal Simulation, MPD said.
The couple was operating The 7 Towers, an online eBay business, out of the home which also served as a distribution center, MPD said. Detectives confiscated more than 6,600 toys believed to be valued between $750,000 to $1 million. According to detectives, a lot of the items were purchased using homemade bar codes. Computers, label printing material and business documents were also seized.
Adkins and Germany also have pending charges of Receiving Stolen Property in the Third Degree in Madison. They face Theft of Property charges in Huntsville as well. Additional charges for all three suspects are pending.
Germany and Adkins remain in the Madison County Alabama Jail without bond.
Melvin was being held on a $50,000 bond. She was released from the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center Monday after having a Source Hearing to prove her bond money didn’t come from illegal funds.
The investigation is ongoing.