3 Arrested in large retail fraud scheme

Posted: Updated:
Andre L. Chaney Jr., James Michael Toles and Robert Allen Schnitker By Christina O'Haver Andre L. Chaney Jr., James Michael Toles and Robert Allen Schnitker By Christina O'Haver
Andre Chaney Jr. By Christina O'Haver Andre Chaney Jr. By Christina O'Haver
James Michael Toles By Christina O'Haver James Michael Toles By Christina O'Haver
Robert Allen Schnitker By Christina O'Haver Robert Allen Schnitker By Christina O'Haver
Thermal printer By Christina O'Haver Thermal printer By Christina O'Haver

YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. -- Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies have arrested three Oklahoma City men believed to be involved in a multi-state retail fraud scheme.

Investigators believe 23-year-old James Toles, 23-year-old Robert Schnitker and 22-year-old Andre Chaney Jr. were forging receipts and altering tags on stolen goods so they could return the items for cash.

K-9 deputies on Tuesday stopped a 2014 gray Dodge Charger on Interstate 40 near Ash Fork for alleged traffic violations.

A deputy reportedly smelled marijuana, which was also detected by a K-9.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies found a "usable quantity" of marijuana inside the car along with a vacuum sealer and rolls of plastic bags possibly intended for packaging marijuana.

Deputies also reportedly found a handheld scanner commonly used in retail stores, apparently fraudulent Wal-Mart receipts, a thermal printer loaded with a blank roll of Wal-Mart receipts, a laptop, a lock pick, a demagnetizer device used to deactivate security tags on merchandise, and a power inverter.

The sheriff's office said the vehicle was loaded with brand new electronics, clothing and rifle sights.

Deputies seized the recently purchased Dodge Charger and nearly $2,000 in cash.

The suspects were arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on numerous felony charges related to drug possession, forgery and theft.

Additional charges are pending in Coconino County and Oklahoma.

Investigators are seeking additional businesses that may have been victimized.

Wal-Mart and the Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking task force are assisting with the investigation.