An El Monte man was arrested after a monthslong investigation into an alleged refund scheme involving hard drives targeting multiple retail stores throughout Central and Southern California, Simi Valley police announced Tuesday.
Peter Nhan, 42, of El Monte, was arrested after an investigation determined he had been purchasing hard drives from various stores, then carefully removed them from the packaging and replace them with older, less valuable drives. He would then return them for a refund, investigators said.
Nhan was seen on surveillance visiting as many as 16 different stores in a day, police said.
Simi Valley police said they began looking into Nhan after receiving a tip from an investigator at a Target store.
Nhan was also using his business, Skynet Computers, to sell the stolen hard drives, which brought in more than $189,000, police added.
On Aug. 1, detectives with a search warrant found about 200 hard drives at Nhan’s residence in El Monte.
Nhan was arrested and booked at the Ventura County Main Jail on suspicion of grand theft, organized retail theft, conspiracy, and money laundering.