AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – Three young men are facing charges after allegedly selling “brand new iPhones” to a local business that were actually just boxes full of clay.

Police say their investigation started last week after receiving a complaint about possible fraud at the Metro PCS store on Baldwin Road, just south of I-75 outside of the Great Lakes Crossing shopping mall.

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Store owners told police that a group of men came into the store on Thursday and sold them what appeared to be brand new Apple iPhones still in the box and sealed with the factory plastic. Later when the owner opened the boxes, he found they actually contained bricks of clay — not the iPhones.

The owner called the suspects back, saying he wanted to purchase additional phones, and when they agreed, he contacted police. The suspects returned to the store on Saturday with “more phones” but fled while waiting for the transaction to be completed.

Four suspects were located and arrested a short time later, according to police. During a search of the suspects’ rental car, police found a backpack with iPhone boxes that were filled with Play-Doh, about $500 in cash and clothes.

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Three suspects have been arraigned on charges connected to the incident. The fourth suspect, a 19-year-old Redford man, was not charged but remains under investigation, police said.

Nineteen-year-old Tommy Hailey, of Southfield, and 17-year-old Gregory Allen, of Redford, were charged with larceny by false pretenses — $1,000 to $20,000, and  attempted larceny by false pretenses — $1,000 to $20,000.

Nineteen-year-old Kejuan Gordan, of Redford, was charged with attempted larceny by false pretenses — $1,000 to $20,000.

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Not guilty pleas were entered for all three. Hailey was given $15,000 personal bond, Allen was given a $10,000 personal bond and Gordan was given a $15,000 personal bond. All three are due back in court for a pre-exam conference on August 3.