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Detectives Use Craigslist To Solve Concert Ticket Theft

Last updated on Friday, June 15, 2012

(JOHNSON COUNTY) - Johnson County sheriff’s detectives used a popular website to set up a sting to solve a home burglary case.

Detectives posed as secret shoppers on Craigslist.com looking for Lady Antebellum tickets stolen from Vickie Hastings' ticket package after her home was broken into, RTV's Tracie Wells reported.

"The way they broke in, through the window, is unsettling," she said.

Hastings said she called TicketMaster to report the ticket thefts and to order replacements. She was told the tickets would be waiting for her at the will call window.

"(TicketMaster) said, 'Two of your friends have already come into the concert.' Not true. All four of us were standing there," Hastings said.

The unwitting couple who had purchased Hastings' tickets on Craigslist had to leave their seats and buy another set of tickets.

"(The couple) came back to our seats and said, 'We're sorry. We'll give you anything you want to know about these people. We know (the theives') phone number, their car and where we met them. We got them off Craigslist,'" Hastings said. "I went to Craigslist and typed in the phone number and up popped Lady Antebellum tickets. From there, I proceeded to contact the Sheriff's Department."

Johnson County sheriff's detectives posed as undercover shoppers on Craigslist, called the number and said they wanted to buy tickets for the next concert in Hastings' concert ticket package. The undercover detectives set up a time to meet and bought the Lady Antebellum tickets, which belonged to Hastings.

"We weren't sure what we were going to find. We don't believe that the people we met up with were the same people who had anything to do with going into the houses down here," Detective Andy Barnhart said. "I don't want to comment anymore on the suspects in this case, but a lot of times you find that if someone is involved in one thing, they're probably involved in quite a few."

Hastings said she plans to attend the remaining concerts in her ticket package.

"I have all my other tickets, so me and my three friends will be attending," she said.

Police advised consumers looking for online deals to research the seller and to meet in a public place when making purchases.

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