A North Texas police department successfully recently took down a million-dollar gift card tampering scam.

Police in Burleson, located about 46 miles southwest of Dallas, made the announcement on July 8. Two suspects believed to be part of a gift card tampering ring that spanned several states were successfully taken into custody, per a news release from the Burleson Police Department (BPD).

Officers recovered 4,017 gift cards with an estimated value of $1,720,050.

The investigation into the scammers had a major breakthrough on June 27, when the Flock Safety Automated License Plate Reader system flagged a suspect vehicle — a Honda Accord — previously linked to fraudulent activity at several Home Depot stores.

A Burleson officer working within the Fort Worth Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center alerted patrol officers, who located the Accord in the parking lot of a Target store at 200 NW John Jones Dr.

The officers saw two males exit the store, climb into the Accord, and drive out of the parking lot. According to the press release, the driver committed a traffic violation, and the officers made a traffic stop.

When officers approached the vehicle, they noticed a “large number of gift cards in plain view,” giving them probable cause for a search, per BPD. As a result, “over 1,000 gift cards neatly packaged and organized in bundles and boxes” were uncovered.

The suspects were arrested, and the investigation turned to a hotel in Carrollton where they were reportedly staying.

Officers with BPD’s Criminal Investigations Division obtained a search warrant before Burleson’s Strategic Response Team visited the hotel. Thousands more gift cards were found.

The two suspects, who were not named, have been charged with three first-degree felonies: theft of property over $300,000; fraud, possession, or use of credit or debit card for the obtention of 50 or more items; and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information of 50 or more items.

While investigating the case, BDP worked alongside the Carrollton, Colleyville, and Euless Police Departments, the U.S. Secret Service Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, and both Home Depot and Target’s corporate organized retail crime teams. The press release credits the collaborative effort for the outcome.

North Texas has seen its fair share of tampered gift card schemes, with this strategy garnering particular attention during the holiday season.

In Dallas, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard, as of July 7, 1,210 fraud offenses had been reported. While this crime category is trending downward, larceny-theft and shoplifting rates are growing, clocking a 5.9% and 16.5% increase year over year, respectively.

The Dallas Police Department has been directing its stretched resources toward reducing violent crime. Relatedly, property crime has taken off as of late.

DPD fields only around 3,000 officers, far short of the 4,000 officers previously recommended by a City analysis. With a budget of just $654 million this fiscal year, it is unclear if the department can close the gap. This sum also falls considerably short of the amount of taxpayer money other high-crime cities, such as Chicago and New York City, direct to their police departments.