Local woman charged with selling fake Bruno Mars tickets escapes custody

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 15 at 4:44 AM

(KMOV) – Police say a woman who allegedly sold fake tickets to a Bruno Mars concert escaped from custody after being arrested Monday evening.

Desiree Townsend, 36, was charged Wednesday with felony forgery and escaping from custody.

According to court documents, Townsend on Aug. 1 posted a listing on Craigslist for tickets to a Bruno Mars concert at the Scottrade Center on Aug. 8.

Townsend sold the tickets to an unknown party on Aug. 3.

Another woman, Donna Craig, later saw the tickets, which were still listed online, and contacted Townsend.

Police said Townsend reported the original tickets lost on Aug. 7 and printed out the original tickets she had purchased and already sold.

She then arranged to meet Craig the day of the Bruno Mars concert and sold them for $85.

Townsend was arrested on Monday and admitted to police she sold the tickets knowing they were fake.

Police said she was taken into custody but faked an illness and was transported to Mercy Hospital. Authorities said she then escaped custody while being handcuffed to the bed in the emergency room.

Authorities eventually caught up to her and she was again arrested Wednesday morning.

Days before her arrest, News 4 talked to Craig, who said the same thing happened to six other people.

“I want her to get in trouble, to go to jail or something. I don’t think she should get away with it because she acted like it was okay,” Craig later said.

After News 4 aired a story on the alleged scam, Townsend emailed the station several times threatening to take legal action. She claimed that News 4 slandered her name and that she had nothing to do with this ticket scam.

Emily Tongay, another of Townsend’s alleged victims, wasn’t aware her Bruno Mars tickets were photocopies until she arrived at the Scott trade Center and met several other people in the same situation.

“We literally all had the same ticket, copied. Same section, same seat, same row; everything was the same,” Tongay said.  

A further investigation revealed Townsend has an extensive criminal history. In 2012, she was charged with writing fraudulent checks to Ladue Pharmacy while earlier this year she allegedly used a fake identity to try and make payments to a layaway company in Clayton.

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