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Two Kmart employees arrested for theft

The incidents stem from the creation and spending of fake gift cards

Two Kmart employees have been arrested for theft by Gresham police following the discovery they were involved with creating fictitious customers in order to obtain thousands of dollars in gift cards.

On Jan. 2, Gresham police received a report that two Kmart employees were receiving gift cards fraudulently as part of Kmart's frequent shopper promotion where gift cards were given to random customers in amounts of $5, $10 or $15 throughout the holiday shopping season.

Police officials say that personnel from the Kmart corporate office alerted police to two 19-year-old employees, Allan James Parsons of Gresham, and Guadalupe Aguilar-Govea of Portland, who they believe were allegedly putting items on layaway and then paying their accounts off with hundreds of the gift cards. Kmart security officers believe the men obtained the cards fraudulently through the promotion.

Gresham Police investigated the allegations and identified the two suspects, 19-year-old Allan James Parsons of Gresham, and 19-year-old Guadalupe Aguilar-Govea of Portland.

Parsons was arrested and charged with second-degree theft, first-degree conspiracy to commit theft and computer crime.

Aguilar-Govea was charged with first-degree theft, first-degree aggravated theft, computer crime and 37 counts of aggravated identity theft.

As of Jan. 30, Aguilar-Govea was being held on $750,000 bail at the Multnomah County Jail.

During interviews, police say Aguilar-Govea admitted to masterminding the fraud operation and Parsons admitted to participating in it as well. Gresham Police determined that Aguilar-Govea created more than 3,700 fictitious accounts using names created by a third-party website in order to receive the gift cards.

In total, more than $22,000 in small gift cards were received by the suspects and they were able to spend around $5,000 in the gift cards before the rest expired, according to officials.

Police report that there was no data security breach and there is no indication that any Kmart customer information was compromised or used in any way. The identities created by the suspects were fictitious and generated randomly by a third-party website.

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