UPDATE AUG. 29: Target sent News10 a statement regarding this investigation. It has been added to the end of this story.
STOCKTON - Central Valley Target stores have been hit with a credit card security breach, according to information contained in a search warrant affidavit filed by U.S. postal inspectors.
Postal inspectors served two search warrants in Stockton Thursday, one in the 8500 block of Portola Circle and the other in the 1000 block of Princess Drive, seizing everything from computers inside the homes to the contents of vehicles outside.
The search warrant affidavit details a sophisticated scheme to obtain Target Red Card holder's credit card numbers.
Suspect Boone B. Khoonsrivong was tracked down in April. He allegedly told investigators he had a degree in computer science and had figured out Target's credit card sequencing system, which allowed him to make counterfeit cards. The cards were used to buy at least $200,000 in merchandise and may have compromised hundreds of customer's accounts.
The scheme was first detected back in January at about the same time Target suffered a massive breach of credit card security potentially affecting millions of cards. Postal inspector Jeff Fitch said it's "too soon to tell" if the two cases are connected.
Target customers who were already affected by the breach last year were stunned to hear of another that might affect them here in the Central Valley.
"I had two cards reissued cards because I guess they were a part of the compromise, potentially, so that's very concerning and makes me wonder what's going on with Target's security for that," said Laura Jones of Sacramento, who was shopping at the Target Store on Riverside Drive.
Khoonsrivong, the alleged mastermind, is said to have enlisted others as part of a "crew" to use the counterfeit cards to make purchases at several stores in Stockton, Lodi and other parts of the Central Valley.
The search warrant affidavit makes it clear that investigators believe hundreds of Target customers may have had their identities stolen.
Target sent News10 this statement on Friday:
It's important to note that there is absolutely no indication that this situation is in any way related to a breach of Target's networks or point-of-sale systems.
Information protection is a top priority at Target and our investigations team has partnered with local California law enforcement and the local office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to bring charges against this individual that we believe has engaged in physical credit card fraud. Because this is part of an ongoing investigation, any additional questions should be directed to the local law enforcement.