Jets ticket fraudster busted

Winnipeg Jets (L-R) Andrew Ladd, Derek Meech, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, and Randy Jones...

Winnipeg Jets (L-R) Andrew Ladd, Derek Meech, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, and Randy Jones celebrate Wheeler's third period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during NHL pre-season action in Winnipeg, September 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)

TAMARA KING, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:07 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Tickets to Winnipeg Jets games have turned out to be “hot” in more ways than one, and meant that some fans were left out in the cold.

A fraudster was busted Thursday for stealing numerous Jets tickets through the mail and selling them on the website Kijiji.

The rightful ticket holder noticed the envelope hadn’t arrived on time, called the ticket agency, and the tickets were voided.

In the meantime, the tickets were snapped up online by unsuspecting fans, and the victims only found out when they tried to get into MTS Centre and were denied entry.

“People need to be aware, when they are making these purchases, it really is a buyer-beware situation when you’re dealing with the Internet. It would be very hard to determine whether or not those tickets would get you into the game,” said Const. Natalie Aitken, city police spokeswoman.

Police wouldn’t specify how the suspect managed to get his hands on the tickets through the mail sometime between the start of September and Sept. 18. Aitken said the person does not work for Canada Post.

A 28-year-old Winnipeg man faces charges of theft from mail, fraud under $5,000, and possession of property obtained by crime. He was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. Because he yet to be formally charged, police did not release his name.

So far, it’s the only case to surface involving someone stealing the tickets through the mail, said True North Sports and Entertainment’s Scott Brown. Still, there have been other ticket scams.

Brown said there were “a few instances” that left online buyers out in the cold, including phony tickets for seats that don’t exist or tickets that had been double-sold.

“We had a handful of incidents of people who showed up with tickets and couldn’t be let into the building,” he said.

The best bet for buying tickets on the re-sale market is to use the Jets “Ticket Exchange Program,” said Brown, although he noted it has yet to be activated on the club’s website.

“That is the only legal, authentic way to get a ticket,” he said.

The team hopes to have the exchange up and running in the coming days.


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