Dozens of fans fall victim to ticket fraud

At Sunday’s Vikings game, 54 people reported being turned away for having fake tickets.

Dozens of fans fall victim to ticket fraud

Nick Wicker

A surge of fraudulent ticket sales left its mark Sunday, as 54 people were turned away from TCF Bank Stadium at the Vikings-Packers game.

The fans bought the forged tickets from scammers online and in person, police said. They approached the ticket office after being refused at the front gates, according to a police report listing the dozens of victims.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that many victims in one of our police reports before,” said University of Minnesota police Department Deputy Chief Chuck Miner.

He said the game’s popularity attracted the falsified tickets, which the scammers sold on Craigslist.

“It’s not a problem specific to the Vikings,” Miner said. “It happens less occasionally with Minnesota Wild tickets, or Twins, or whatever.”

Miner said the department encourages fans to buy from reputable sellers and online sites with money-back guarantees.

He also said police have a small group of suspects.

“We’re working on it, and we’ve got some good leads,” Miner said.

Drug arrest in Territorial Hall

Officers headed to Territorial Hall on Saturday morning when community advisers smelled marijuana coming from one of the third-floor rooms, according to a University police report.

Miner said officers arrived at about 2:30 a.m. to make contact with the resident, who had bloodshot, watery eyes.

He said the officers also noticed a glass pipe on a desk in the resident’s room and a Gatorade bottle “modified into a marijuana smoking device.”

One CA told officers the suspect stuffed a large bag of drugs down his shorts when he heard the police were coming, Miner said.

During a subsequent pat-down, Miner said the officers heard the crinkle of a plastic bag near the resident’s groin.

Miner said a breathalyzer test on the resident resulted in a .162 blood alcohol content — about twice the legal limit.

Police cited the resident for possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia and minor consumption of alcohol, according to the report.

Pickpocket in Dinkytown

A University student was at Blarney Pub and Grill just before 2 a.m. Sunday when she realized her phone was missing from her back pocket, according to a police report.

The student told security personnel a suspicious male who brushed against her earlier may have stolen the phone, the report said.

“We’ve not seen this to be a pattern at all,” said Minneapolis Police Public Information Officer John Elder.

This incident wasn’t similar to last fall’s string of phone thefts, he said.

The 21-year-old suspect had three warrants out for his arrest, each issued in a different county. Police booked him at the Hennepin County Jail.

Elder called the suspect “awfully mobile” given the diverse sources of his warrants.

“What I can say is this is a guy who’s not taking care of business,” Elder said. “Presumably he’s been notified of these warrants and has failed to take care of them.”