During another investigation of vendors selling counterfeit goods from the Santee Alley area in Los Angeles, The LAPD found more than they bargained for. The LAPD entered a business location that houses numerous retail units and made several arrests for the sales of counterfeit merchandise. While the Officers on the scene were completing their investigation, they heard sounds coming from a unit that was locked and secured by a padlock from the outside. Fortunately, the units inside this location do not have ceilings. Officers were able to look over and see into the unit and observed several people inside. Officers determined that several of the people locked inside the unit were actually customers, who had been at the location attempting to buy handbags. The customers said a vendor who was selling them handbags had closed them inside the unit when Officers arrived at the location and arrested the other vendors. The customers said the vendor told them to remain inside the unit and threatened them not to make any sounds or they would also be arrested. The customers said another unknown person must have placed the lock on the outside of the unit locking them inside. The LAPD had to call the Fire Department to cut the locks off the unit to free the customers. The Fire Department responded and freed the customers. The original vendor, who initially closed the unit and threatened the customers, was arrested for false imprisonment and trademark counterfeiting. This is another good example of how counterfeiters do not care about the safety of the public. It is all about the $$$$$$$$.

By Kris Buckner, Investigative Consultants


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