Father and son arrested in Grizzlies voucher scam

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police say it was a "slam dunk" once they caught William Ellison and his son Blake with stolen vouchers to Memphis Grizzlies games in the back of a Jeep they pulled over during a routine stop.

They say the vouchers were part of a $450,000 stash stolen last month during a burglary of a marketing agency.  Scratches remain on a door where police say pins on the hinges were removed.  

They say the older Ellison confessed to the break-in and left the salesmanship to his son.  He was actually fired by the company last year after a smaller theft.

Court records don't indicate just how many vouchers Ellison may have unloaded.  But he sold at least two at Southland Mall.

Employees of a barber shop tell Action News 5 they never suspected a scam because they recognized the younger Ellison from work he previously did for the marketing agency.  They say they bought the vouchers $40  apiece.

"Pro sports are high dollar for tickets," said Grizzlies fan Gregory Waldrop.

Waldrop considers it a lesson to always ask for proper identification when someone offers a sweet deal.

"I think you'd figure out that's a scalp job going on, or something fishy," he said.

Both William and Blake Ellison are being held on bonds of at least $65,000.

In addition to stolen vouchers, police say they found a pipe used for smoking marijuana and a .22 caliber handgun in their vehicle.  Neither the Grizzlies not the marketing agency want to comment on an ongoing investigation.

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