It’s something thousands of people do every day around Sacramento — buy a ticket and board Regional Transit.
But Sacramento police say they’ve uncovered something illegal in the way some folks have been getting from here to there, busting a man in an undercover sting for selling counterfeit fare.
Investigators say it was a bold move for the suspect to be offering a booklet of tickets for the whole month, which is a product the transit system doesn’t sell.
“Not only is it bold for him to be doing this at our facilities and stations, but bold for the customer to purchase it,” said Lt. Norm Leong, about the misdemeanor offense.
It’s a scam affecting RT’s bottom line.
“Don’t know how much the revenue loss is, but losing $155 a month for everyone who had this packet does add up,” he said.
Jesse Wardlaw, 35, was arrested in a bust at the system’s Florin Road station after regular fare inspections revealed passengers were buying fare booklets that were all together fake and having them delivered by someone passing around their cell number.
“He’s coming out to you to deliver,” Leong said.
Sitting side by side, the real and the fake fares are hard to tell apart.
The most FOX40’s cameras could catch is a digitization around the supposed RT logo on the counterfeit pass.
Giving away any other clues into spotting an imposter, with the manufacturer of this masquerade still out there, was a no-no for Leong.
“I guess it’s a trade secret for now,” he said.
Malia Hudson rides the Blue Line every day and can’t imagine getting caught up in such a scheme.
“I didn’t know that like… people could make fake tickets….like that’s kind of weird,” she said.
Buyers of the bogus books could literally pay the price — one upward of $160 dollars.
“The people who are purchasing it should know better,” Leong said.
Don’t get taken for a ride, trying to catch one on the cheap.