A 52-year-old Lakewood man facing a grand theft charge is also suspected of ripping off retailers throughout Orange County for more than a decade with a "short change" scam, Irvine police said.
Jorge Segundo Nunez-Delgado was charged June 1 on a warrant for his arrest with one count of felony grand theft for an incident June 18, 2016, according to court records. He was arrested June 21 in Culver City, said Kim Mohr of the Irvine Police Department.
The defendant posted bail and was released June 22, according to jail records. Police allege he would use a common scam of exchanging cash back and forth with a clerk to make sure he had paid enough for a product -- usually worth about $500, Mohr said.
In the end, he would take more money back that he was owed in the exchange and then return to the store to return the item and get a full refund, Mohr alleged.
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Police allege that retailers have lost about $7,000 -- and that stores across the state claim $30,000 in losses, Mohr said. Irvine police focused on the "short change" scam at the Target store at the Irvine Spectrum Center, Mohr said. Police believe the suspect has been short-changing clerks since 2004, she said.
Police say he has victimized clerks in Oregon, Wisconsin and Vancouver, Mohr said.