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Suspects used toothpaste, price match in attempt to scam Target stores, deputies say

Men 'washed' receipt with toothpaste, report shows

PALM COAST, Fla. – Three men attempted to use Target's "price match" policy to defraud several stores in Central Florida, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office report.

Flagler County deputies said they were conducting a shoplifter apprehension operation with the Target loss prevention team on Tuesday when one of the suspects walked up to the Palm Coast store's guest services desk.

Guerson Bellevue, 20, told the Target employee he had bought a pair of headphones from the store for $199.99 and he wanted Target to match the price of $99.99 that Best Buy was offering for the same headphones, according to the arrest report.

According to Target's price match policy, if a customer finds a lower price from a competitor for their purchase within 14 days they can bring proof of purchase back to the store and Target will adjust the payment.

However, the receipt the suspect presented was missing all the store information and appeared to have been "washed" to conceal the store location, deputies said. The suspects later told deputies they washed off the information with toothpaste, according to the report.

The Target loss prevention officer searched the store's database and found that the same headphones were purchased at the Port Orange Target the same day and then they were price matched at the customer service desk at the same store, according to the report. The suspect received a $106 refund from the store.

Deputies reviewed surveillance video from the Port Orange store that showed Bellevue with another man later, identified as Alvin Alejandro, 19, at the store making the purchase and then Alejandro receiving a price match refund from the store.

Deputies and the loss prevention officer confronted Bellevue about the attempt to obtain a fraudulent price match. Deputies found the car outside that Bellevue arrived in. Inside were Alejandro and another suspect waiting in the parking lot, according to the report.

The three men are accused of committing a scheme to defraud under $300.