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San Diego man accused of bilking stores with phony bar codes

A 42-year-old San Diego man has been charged with replacing the bar codes on expensive merchandise at Lowe's and Home Depot stores with codes carrying lower prices, prosecutors announced Friday.

Steve Koski was arraigned in San Diego County Superior Court on 11 felony counts centered on the alleged theft of more than $30,000 in copper wire and other merchandise with phony bar codes. Prosecutors say he resold it at recycling centers for more than $180,000. Bail was set at $250,000.

"We do not tolerate scams, and we are aggressive about prosecuting perpetrators who think they can get away with bilking businesses and consumers," said Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis.

The eCrime Unit of the Department of Justice was involved in investigating the case, said California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

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