BOAZ, Ala. (WAFF) - Boaz’s police chief says during an off-duty trip to Walmart last week, employees made him aware of a suspicious customer. That customer was later arrested for allegedly scamming people.
Police say Peifhi Lui was repeatedly going to Walmart to buy a large amount of gift cards. When employees told Lui he couldn’t buy any more, things reportedly got heated between him and loss prevention. Chief Josh Gaskin was in the store at the time, so he got involved.
Gaskin said Lui lied by saying he bought the gift cards with his own money. When loss prevention watched security footage, they realized he was using Walmart digital gift cards to buy more gift cards.
Police say he was getting those digital gift cards by scamming people, then using them to get gift cards at the store.
Police say because he lied, Lui was initially arrested on one misdemeanor count of obstructing governmental operations.
After the arrest, officers impounding his car say they found more than $10,000 in gift cards purchased that day.
After further investigation, Lui, who has a Virginia address, was charged with one count of second-degree theft by deception.
The Secret Service and global Walmart investigators also got involved in an effort to locate victims. They found victims in Michigan and Maine. One was scammed online and thought they wee communicating with their boss. The other was scammed over the phone, according to police.