A 22-year old man arranged to meet the seller of four prized tickets to Kobe Bryant’s final Lakers game at the Staples Center for $1,300 only to find out he’d been scammed, police said.
The victim and several of his friends met the seller at a Pasadena coffee shop on Tuesday night about 8:30 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said, but after the deal was done noticed the ticket appeared fraudulent.
The group called the seller back pretending to be different buyers and the suspect allegedly arranged to sell them the same tickets he had already sold them, a second time.
At that point, the victim called Pasadena police, who arranged to make their own buy.
Officers met the suspect in the area of Euclid Avenue and Walnut Street — less than one block from Pasadena police headquarters. When he realized the “buyers” were police the suspect fled, discarding the fake tickets as he ran.
Arrested was Rahiem Adrian Watts, 27, of New York. He was booked on suspicion of grand theft, according to police.