McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A South Texas police chief said Monday that two Mexican citizens who were arrested at the border used account information stolen during the Target security breach to buy tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. But a federal official said later there currently was no connection between the arrests and the retailer’s credit card data theft.
McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said Mary Carmen Garcia, 27, and Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both of Monterrey, Mexico, had used cards containing the account information of South Texas residents. Rodriguez said they were used to purchase numerous items at national retailers in the area including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.
“They’re obviously selling the data sets by region,” Rodriguez said.
Late Monday, a federal official with knowledge of the case said there currently was no connection between the McAllen case and any ongoing investigation into the Target breach, but would not elaborate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was prohibited from providing details about the investigation.
The discrepancy could not immediately be rectified late Monday. Messages left for Rodriguez and his lieutenant Monday evening seeking a response to those comments weren’t immediately returned.
Garcia and Guardiola were both being held Monday on state fraud charges. It was not immediately known whether they had retained lawyers.
Rodriguez said he did not know whether these arrests were the first related to the Target breach.
Asked about the McAllen arrests, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in an email Monday that the investigation was active and ongoing.
“I’d have to refer you to local law enforcement there for any questions about their community,” she said. The Minneapolis-based company said last week that it has stopped more than a dozen operations that sought to scam breach victims by way of email, phone calls and text messages.