MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you’re heading to a game this weekend, you may want to double check your tickets.
Police are investigating a man who they believe sold fake tickets to a Vikings game, and they think he may have sold even more to other sporting events.
Richard Bauer is charged with selling fraudulent tickets to the Vikings-Lions game in early October.
Victims usually come forward, but police say it’s rare to catch the swindler.
“I was super, mad,” victim Justin Schmidt said.
Schmidt showed up to the Vikings Lions game with his dad and brother, both in from out of town.
“The guy was scanning them and he goes, ‘These won’t scan,'” Schmidt said.
Schmidt took pictures of the paper tickets the family brought to the game. They were let in, even though they paper tickets wouldn’t scan.
“I had this sick feeling in my stomach, going I don’t think this is right,” Schmidt said.
Soon after they sat down, other people showed up to the seats, and the Schmitd’s were escorted out of the stadium. Schmidt said he bought the tickets off Craigslist from the man he now knows as Richard Bauer.
“I texted him and said, ‘I can’t get into the game, I think you sold me fake tickets.’ And I haven’t heard anything since,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt did file a police report.
So did three other families who say they bought tickets from Bauer.
The 30-year-old Bauer was arrested at his White Bear Lake home on Thursday for theft by swindle.
According to the criminal complaint Bauer paid for one real ticket with his wife’s credit card to make the fakes. He gave Schmidt a copy of the receipt. And that’s how police were able to trace the credit card back to Bauer.
“I’d love to think it was me giving that information,” Schmidt said.
And Bauer “admitted that he sold the tickets to the Detroit Lions game five different times to different people and that he took them for well over $1,000.”
“I definitely think karma has worked its way into the situation,” Schmidt said.
Bauer will have a first court appearance on Monday.
Bauer also admitted to selling fake tickets for this Sunday’s Vikings game. Police said this is a reminder for people to buy tickets through reputable sources.