Arrests made in connection with Target hack

Two Mexicans have been arrested in connection with last year’s hacking of retail giant Target.

Police arrested Daniel Guardiola Dominguez and Mary Carmen Garcia Vaquera in the border town of McAllen, Texas, with dozens of fraudulent credit cards over the weekend. The two were on their way to continue a string of purchases stretching into the tens of thousands of dollars when they were nabbed, according to Victor Rodriguez, McAllen’s police chief.

Rodriguez said on Monday that local authorities detected a rash of fraudulent charges at stores like Best Buy, Toys’R’Us and Wal-Mart starting on Sunday, Jan. 12. Local police, working with U.S. Secret Service, tracked down Dominguez and Vaquera’s car and were able to identify the two.

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They were arrested at the border, crossing back into the United States.

“They were returning back here again to run another load of cards at us,” Rodriguez said.

“We were able to flag their vehicle, flag their names and when they came across they were arrested by our agents and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] at the bridge, and since that time they’ve been in our custody.”

As many as 110 million Target customers’ names, addresses, credit card data and other information were stolen from the store in November and December.

“Someone in Mexico is obviously buying that data and producing the cards and then trying to make their runs into the area to capitalize on it,” Rodriguez said.

In a statement, the Secret Service said that it “continues to work closely with affected parties and law enforcement to investigate the Target breach.”

The agency added that it was working with the U.S. Attorney’s office and McAllen police to determine if there is any connection to the hack.

The Target hack raised alarms in Washington, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said that new data privacy and notification laws could be needed to protect consumers’ sensitive information. Their concerns were only magnified by the news that the upscale store Neiman Marcus had also been hacked during the holiday shopping season late last year. 

-- This post was updated with the Secret Service's statement at 3:10 p.m.