BOISE -- Police say three people from California flew to Idaho for the sole purpose of stealing from businesses by using fake credit card information.
Alshia Gant, Gregory Jefferson and Reina Rodriguez are each charged with four felony burglary charges.
For years, Boise Police have been working to crack down on retail fraud.
Boise police say two things caught the suspects -- one is an alert store manager, and the other a good relationship between law enforcement.
They say stores and police are often watching for the same type of criminals and this time, it led to an arrest.
It was Friday morning that Curt Crum of the Boise police department heard from a Boise store manager.
She called him directly to report a customer at her cash register was acting suspiciously.
"When this person came up swiped the card, wanted a thousand dollars in gift cards, swiped the first card, wouldn't go through, tried to swipe another one tried to get her to do some overrides. She said no, no, no, no. and then she realized there was a second one at another register, saw them meet up at the parking lot and that's what really got the ball rolling," said Curt Crum of Boise Police Department.
Detectives were sent out in unmarked cars and watched suspects 19 year old Reina Rodriguez, 22 year old Alshia Gant and 28 year old Gregory Jefferson .
Crum says the trio hit TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Hope Depot and a Big K-Mart and he says they swiped fake credit cards to buy gift cards in large dollar amounts.
But with detectives on them, shortly after their spree began the three were arrested.
"We followed them for about 30 minutes and they did $8,000 worth in 30 minutes. So they know what they're doing," said Curt Crum of Boise Police Department.
They were likely trained by an active fraud ring.
For six years, Crum and his special organized retail crime unit have worked closely with Boise stores to watch for these kinds of organizations.
Groups typically recruit young people with the promise of money and send them to different cities to do the crime.
"If there's somebody that's in a bind and somebody says, 'Hey, I'll give you 40 cents on the dollar for every gift card you bring me. And well if you come back with $20,000 in gift cards that's a pretty substantial gain in a very, very short amount of time," said Curt Crum of Boise Police Department.
And the thieves are often sent on a one-way plane ticket: as long as they're successful in making bogus purchases, they keep working.
Crum says Rodriguez, Gant and Jefferson flew in from California and it's unknown when they were supposed to go back.
"The perception is they can reap a lot of reward for it with very little risk. Well, they come to Boise we want them to know there's a very high risk because these organized groups do get caught here very often," said Crum.
Police say the three suspects charged about $8,000 but were successful in getting about $2,000 worth because some stores were able to cancel the transactions.
The three suspects are back in court in early August for their burglary charges.
Rodriguez faces an additional charge of trying to destroy evidence.
Police say organized fraud rings often manufacture their own fake credit cards, or get credit card info from compromised databases.