Police seize counterfeit DVDs

Police said an anonymous tip led them to more than 1,700 counterfeit DVDs that a Greenwood flea market vendor was selling.

The vendor had a booth at Emporium 31, a flea market located off Declaration Drive in Greenwood, and a second location in Beech Grove. At both spots, the vendor was selling counterfeit DVDs, which had been copied from the original releases, Greenwood deputy police chief James Prior said.

Police received an online tip that the vendor was selling counterfeit DVDs and sent an undercover officer to buy one. Investigators checked the DVD to see if it was counterfeit, which can often be noticeable with a poor picture quality and in the packaging, Prior said. When investigators found the DVD was counterfeit, officers seized more than 1,700 others, Prior said.

No arrests have been made, and police are still investigating, including counting and logging all of the DVDs that were found, he said.

The vendor could face local or federal charges, depending on the quantity of DVDs and total value of what was found, Prior said.

Investigators have interviewed the vendor, and others may be involved in the case as well, he said.

Police also are working with a representative from the Motion Picture Association of America, who is helping them learn what to look for to know if all of the DVDs seized are counterfeit, Prior said.

The case is one police took on because it was happening locally and because it affects people and can lead to loss of money for customers, Prior said.

“It’s something being represented as authentic, and that’s not what they are getting,” Prior said.

Looking at the DVDs that were seized, most people would not be able to tell a difference between the counterfeit ones and the real thing, Greenwood assistant police chief Matt Fillenwarth said.

They are packaged the same way as other DVDs and look the same. The way to often tell if something is counterfeit is the price, which would be lower than what you would pay at a store, Fillenwarth said.

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.