DENVER (CBS4)– With the holiday shopping season in full swing, two men have been accused of scamming local retailers with zero-balance gift cards.

Jerome Holt has been charged with theft and criminal impersonation. Anthony Sykes has been charged with attempted theft.

Police believe Holt, 24, fraudulently used a VISA gift card to buy merchandise Nov. 20 at two downtown Denver stores. He allegedly signed another person’s name on the charge.

Sykes, 20, allegedly tried a similar fraudulent transaction at one of the same retailers the following day.

A third co-defendant has been cited with a city ordinance violation of providing false information.

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The scam allegedly started in Florida and its unknown exactly how large the scam got, but the thieves were caught with thousands of dollars in merchandise.

It was reported the thieves had nearly a dozen suitcases full of stolen goods, including computers, cell phones and more. But their luck ran out when they tried to steal Western wear and a night at the Oxford Hotel.

Holt and Sykes remain in custody in the Denver Detention Center with bonds set at $2,500 for each. They are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday to be formally advised of the charges.

Police believe there may be additional retail victims.


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