Glendale police: Woman accused of faking Disneyland tickets

A Hollywood woman was arrested Wednesday after allegedly selling bogus Disneyland tickets on Craigslist in Glendale to at least half a dozen families, some of whom didn't learn of the fakery until being turned away at the theme park's gates.

The woman, Alisa Yenokyan, 22, was taken into custody about 6 p.m. after she agreed to meet officers who posed as potential Disneyland ticket purchasers at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles, Police Det. Jonathan Owen said.

The officers responded to one of her Craigslist ads and offered to buy two adult and two child tickets for $50 each, he said.

“I think this type of crime hits home with a lot of our victims,” Owen said, adding that some victims indicated that they would remember the scam “for the rest of their lives.”

Yenokyan allegedly possessed 20 additional Disneyland e-tickets, along with ledgers that included the number of tickets sold and phone numbers of victims. Detectives also discovered hundreds of text messages on her cellphone from potential ticket purchasers, Owen added.

Yenokyan reportedly claimed she bought the tickets from an unknown man and made copies of them to resell on Craigslist because “she can't find a job and needed money to survive,” Owen said.

Yenokyan allegedly conned families out of thousands of dollars for several years by selling the fake Disneyland tickets out of her previous apartment in Glendale, Owen said.

Among her more recent alleged victims is Compton resident Jesus Vaca, 24, who said he paid Yenokyan $500 a year ago this month for 10 tickets that turned out to be bogus.

He had saved up money and planned to take his niece to the theme park for her birthday.

“That really hurt me. It upset me a lot,” Vaca said.

Yenokyan had presented him with e-tickets, a copy of her driver's license and cellphone number to demonstrate the tickets were legitimate, Vaca said.

It wasn't until he and his girlfriend drove home that Vaca said they noticed the tickets appeared to be altered. They tried calling her, but she didn't pick up. And soon after, they found that Yenokyan had allegedly posted a different ad with the same phone number.

He decided to set up a sting involving his friend who contacted her and posed as a buyer interested in six tickets.

Vaca, his uncle and girlfriend went along with his friend to meet Yenokyan in Glendale to buy the tickets. As his friend and Yenokyan met, Vaca video-recorded the incident and confronted her.

But he said she quickly ran inside the gated apartment building and urged them not to trespass.

Yenokyan was eventually arrested on suspicion of identity theft, grand theft and making threats, Owen said.

Vaca reported the incident to police and gave them the video recording.

Despite Vaca's setback, he said he still took his niece and family to Disneyland, setting him back even more money. He was forced to dig into his savings and put some other expenses on hold.

“Five hundred dollars is a lot of money,” Vaca said.

Bogus tickets are occasionally presented at the gates of the Disneyland Resort and are “very hard to try to mitigate,” said Suzi Brown, a company spokeswoman.

While she declined to go into detail about security measures taken at Disneyland to spot and track bogus tickets, she urged anyone planning to visit to purchase tickets directly from the theme park or any reputable vendor.

“It's something that we take very serious,” Brown said.

Police urged anyone who purchased bogus tickets from Yenokyan to call the department's Financial Crimes Unit at (818) 548-3101.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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