Authorities on alert for counterfeit Liberty Bowl merchandise - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Authorities on alert for counterfeit Liberty Bowl merchandise

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Authorities said if you notice someone selling Liberty Bowl merchandise at a low price, you may want to check it out closely.  The merchandise could be fake.

Sgt. Clay Aitken and other members of the Shelby County Sheriff's ALERT team spent Friday patrolling the Autozone Liberty Bowl game.

Their target was unlicensed vendors selling counterfeit merchandise.

"The counterfeiting of tickets and merchandise," said Aitken.  "Mainly t-shirts, the apparel."

Champion Awards & Apparel is the exclusive licensing director for all Autozone Liberty Bowl merchandise.  Investigators said thieves broke into a Champion Awards & Apparel storage area and stole about 200 hats Thursday night.

"If someone is selling the merchandise, we'll take them into custody and seize any of the counterfeit property they have on them," said Aitken.

Aitken said game day is a prime opportunity for thieves to cash in big by selling fake merchandise.

"Through our investigating, we've discovered that it's very prevalent," he said.  "It's a billion dollar business."

Authorities said all officially licensed Autozone Liberty Bowl merchandise must have the Autozone Liberty Bowl "shield" logo, feature the appropriate team colors and be sold at an appropriate location.

Aitken said items sold outside the grounds of the Liberty Bowl stadium are illegal.

"If we see someone on foot or set up at a car, we know that's not legitimate," said Aitken.

If you come across any items you think may be counterfeit, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at (901) 545-5600.

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