You’re always taking a risk when you buy something off of Craigslist. How do you know it’s authentic? How do you know it wasn’t stolen? There are a number of questions you just cannot answer.
In the case of buying tickets to a sporting event, you’re taking a particularly large risk, as printed-off tickets can easily be Photoshopped. Shrewd criminals take advantage of unknowing fans all the time. Unfortunately for three Alabama fans, the tickets they bought on Craigslist to the NCAA football national title game turned out to be counterfeit.
Bryant Gentry and his brothers—who purchased two total tickets (they planned to buy one more outside of the stadium)—were robbed of $2,000 and an opportunity to see their favorite team play in one of the greatest college football games in years. When they returned to their hotel room after buying the tickets from a Craigslist scalper, a close inspection led them to deduce the tickets were fake.
“We came to the conclusion we had been burned, and we’re blessed enough with good jobs where we could replace that income, but we started thinking about all the other people he was probably taken advantage of and it made us mad,” Bryant Gentry said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “What if some little kid’s hopes of going to the game were dashed?”
The Gentry brothers hatched a clever plan to enact revenge. They reached out to the scalper, 20-year-old Joseph Steven Escalara, through Craigslist once again, this time using different information, and set up another ticket purchase.
When they met, the brothers physically subdued Escalara. One snuck up from behind him and pinched a nerve between his neck and shoulder, making it easy to keep him under wraps. They then called the police, and waited 10 minutes for them to show up. They found six tickets to the game in Escalara’s waistband.
Sounds like a painful day for Escalera, who was charged with fraudulent possession of admission tickets and grand theft. Poetic justice.