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Craigslist ticket scam foiled by repeat customer

Wilsonville police officers arrested a Portland man recently for allegedly attempting to sell invalid tickets to the April 13 Blazers game.

Kevin Michael Richards, 27, had sold identical, invalid tickets to the game multiple times via Craigslist, police say.

He probably would have gotten away with it, too. But then Richards ran into a repeat customer. Now he faces charges of theft by deception and computer crimes.

Police said the victim initially purchased a ticket to the Blazers-Warriors game and did not notice anything amiss. Later, he realized that he had friends coming to visit and he went back to Craigslist to see if he could find additional tickets to the game.

That’s when he saw that the ticket he had just bought was being advertised for sale again.

The Craigslist seller was based in Wilsonville. The victim notified Wilsonville Police, who set up a sting to catch the alleged fraudster. Richards, using an alias but his own phone number, agreed to meet the victim at the Starbuck’s coffee shop at the Wilsonville Fred Meyer. About 1 p.m. Tuesday, he was greeted not only by the same man he had already sold a ticket to, but also by uniformed police officers.

“He said ‘Oh, I need to give you your money back,’” said one deputy involved in the case.

Victims likely would not have discovered the tickets they had been sold were invalid until they tried to enter the Moda Center for the game, Sgt. Dan Kraus said.

“They can’t find out the tickets aren’t valid until they’re at the game and they’re scanned at the door,” he said.

In this case, though, things worked out and the would-be victim was able to turn the tables on the suspected scammer.

“He admitted selling that ticket five times,” Kraus said.

Richards was lodged in the Clackamas County Jail and later released on bail.



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