Hartford police arrested a man accused of trying to sell fake tickets to the upcoming Justin Bieber concert in Hartford and said they found several fake tickets for other events as well.
Police started investigating after receiving several complaints about someone selling fake tickets to local events on Craigslist, so they gave the case to the Hartford Police Vice and Narcotics Unit, who nabbed a suspect by going undercover.
The investigators set up a meeting to buy four Justin Bieber concert tickets and met with Chad Aceto, 22, of Hartford, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.
He had four fake tickets to the show, police said, and that was just a part of what police found.
In a nearby apartment, detectives recovered several more fake tickets for upcoming shows at the XL Center and Mohegan Sun Casino.
Investigators also found a black Harrington Richardson revolver, two stun guns, paper trimmers, glue sticks and several other things used to make fraudulent tickets in the apartment as well.
After being taken into custody, police said Aceto admitted to selling fraudulent tickets before.
Hartford police said they are investigating 18 documented cases in Hartford involving fake tickets and that 15 are very similar to this case. Police plan on applying for further arrest warrants and that the investigation into such cases are ongoing as more complaints come forward.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters investigated the sales of fake concert tickets in 2014 and spoke with Chris Lawrence, the general manager at the XL Center in Hartford and Rentschler Field in East Hartford, who said the percentage of fake tickets goes up when the event is more in demand and there are signs to look for to make sure your ticket is not a fake.
He suggested analyzing tickets to see if anything that should be there is missing and for misplaced punctuation and misspellings.
"Make sure that you are getting a seat, a section, a number, basically anything that goes on a ticket. Because sometimes you will see a section and a row but there won’t be a seat," Lawrence said last year.
The best way to verify that your tickets are real is to purchase them through the venues or their official websites.
Police also advise people to be smart about where they're meeting someone to buy tickets and remind the public the police department offers a safe zone in its parking lot.
Aceto was charged with conspiracy to commit larceny in the fifth degree, conspiracy to commit forgery in the second degree, interfering with police, second-degree forgery, criminal possession of a firearm and fifth-degree larceny.