Man accused of switching real iPods with fakes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused of switching real iPods with fakes

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A man has been arrested in connection with a scam that involved swapping out real iPods for fake ones.

Gian Ericson De Los Reyes, 26, is accused of entering Target stores across San Diego County, removing iPods from their boxes and replacing them with erasers.

On Christmas morning when Jim Nevarde's wife opened her new iPod, she found the box stuffed with erasers and index cards and no iPod to be found.

"My take is somebody is doing something bad out there," Jim told CBS News 8.

Jim and Vicki returned the box to a different Target store, where a clerk unwrapped another iPod box to complete the exchange.

"Different color erasers, but it's full of erasers. Her eyes got wide and she said 'We have an issue here,'" Jim said.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday crossing the border into the United States. We asked the sheriff's department if surveillance video tape from inside Target helped solve the case.

"Target is of course cooperating with our detectives fully. We're looking at everything. Because that is evidence, we're not going to release it at this time," sheriff's department spokesperson Jan Caldwell said.

Caldwell can't discuss the details of the case, just yet, but she would confirm the alleged thefts occurred in Target stores in Santee, Poway, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista, Escondido and San Diego.

"This began in December of this year, eight thefts that we know of at this point," Caldwell said. "He'd go into the target stores and he'd take the iPod off the shelf and then somehow take the iPod and replace it with the rectangular, small rubber erasers so it had the weight," Caldwell said.

The Nevardes also want to know how the thefts occurred inside Target stores when the iPods were found with shrink wrap on them, inside glass cases that were locked.

"I still want to know how he got the plastic on the boxes inside the store, because it was sealed," Vicki Nevarde said.

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