Detectives are quizzing two people after launching a probe into a fraud targeting builder’s merchants in Lancashire.
Several branches of Jewsons are believed to have been targeted by travelling fraudsters.
In most cases they bought items, usually made from lead, with cheques which then bounced after they had left the store.
It is understood the criminals may have been cashing the lead products they have bought from the merchants with various scrap dealers around the county to get cash.
In one day four branches of Jewsons - three in East Lancashire and one in Preston - were visited by the same people.
Police were eventually called when staff at one of the affected branches in Nelson alerted the team at the Preston store on Raglan Street, Ashton-on-Ribble, on Thursday.
Coincidentally the suspects were already in the store when the phone call was being made.
Detectives from Preston CID attended the scene and arrested a man, 28, and a woman, 26, on suspicion of offences of fraud by false representation.
Both are thought to be Polish nationals who hail from the Sheffield area.
A vehicle was searched and it is understood police in South Yorkshire have searched the suspects houses.