Sacto 9-1-1
April 21, 2011
Men accused of using fake UPC codes to steal merchandise in Auburn

Two Reno men have been arrested after allegedly carrying out a scam to steal items from Auburn's Home Depot.

Scott K. Nelson, 46, (bottom left) and C. Nicholas Psarras, 47, (bottom right) were booked into Placer County Jail on Sunday afternoon after loss prevention employees reported observing Nelson place his homemade UPC stickers over the store's UPC stickers on boxes in his cart. After ringing up his own purchases at the self-service register, Nelson exited the store and was confronted by employees, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department news release.

Officials said he fought with the employees before being handcuffed and taken back to the store. It was determined that Nelson had paid $97 for items valued at $810, according to the news release.

Detective Jim Hudson reported finding a small shipping operation inside the men's car, which contained dozens of boxes ready for shipment to eBay customers, shipping scales, empty shipping boxes, packing tape and materials, two laptops and hundreds for UPC codes in binders. Investigators also found heroin, more than 200 oxycodone pills, morphine pills, syringes and other drug paraphernalia.

In addition, Hudson found a paper trail allegedly connecting Nelson and Psarras to at least 30 Home Depot burglaries throughout the region. Both men were out on bail for a similar crime in another county, officials said.

Nelson and Psarras were booked on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen property, committing a felony while on bail, possession of controlled substances for sale and fraudulent use of an access card of more than $400.

The Sheriff's Department reported that both men were released from jail Wednesday on their own recognizance.

nelson scott k.JPG psarras c nicholas.JPG

KCRA: Two arrested after alleged theft spree

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