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Police: West suburban man stole Spring Awakening tickets

(RIVERSIDE) A west suburban man who allegedly stole concert tickets after agreeing to buy them from a stranger on Facebook was tripped up because he used his real name on the social media site.

James M. Smith, 21, of the 7200 block of South Wolf Road in Indian Head Park is charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft, according to Riverside police.

According to police, Smith arranged a meeting with a 21-year-old woman via Facebook to buy two tickets to Spring Awakening for $300. They agreed to meet in the 100 block of Pine Avenue in Riverside.

When Smith showed up, he got out of a vehicle holding cash and asked for the tickets, police said. When the woman pulled out the tickets, he grabbed them out of her hands, got back into the vehicle and drove off.

But he used his real name on Facebook, and police were able to track him down at his home in Indian Head Park. Police then contacted Ticketmaster and had them cancel the tickets.

The woman identified Smith in a photo array, police said, and Smith gave a written confession admitting to stealing the tickets.

“It is certainly not a good practice for individuals to exchange information over Facebook, and then arrange to meet on a public street where one individual is holding cash and the other is holding the proceeds which were stolen,” Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in the statement.

“This type of meeting and transaction should raise numerous red flags,” he said.