By Andrew Hasbun
Hundreds of high-dollar purse knock-offs and high-end clothes are among the items Jackson police seized Wednesday from two men police say were preparing to sell the goods out of their car.
Police also found dozens of pirated DVDs, including copies of movies still in theaters.
Real Louis Vuitton purses usually sell for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. There's no telling how much the confiscated fakes would get on the black market, but Jackson police believe Gary Windhom, 37, and T.J. Thompson, 34, would have gotten a lot of cash fast.
"It is basically a Wal-Mart on wheels," said J.P.D. Sgt. Jeffrey Scott.
Police say the men loaded up an SUV with not only purses, but dozens of Nike shoes, clothes, and nearly 150 CDs and DVDs. A handful of DVD's were of the film Saw III which just came out in theaters on Friday.
"It is a lucrative, very lucrative, business here in Jackson, and it is something we are trying to get a handle on," said Sgt. Scott.
The arrest was made at a gas station located at 3605 Robinson Rd. Police say the two men were just going to park, open up their car, and start selling.
A tip led to the arrest. Federal authorities were also involved. Most of the items are fakes, but police believe some are real and may be traced back to area robberies. The Men arrested are from Jackson. Police say they will definitely face misdemeanor charges. Felony charges may also come for possessing those pirated DVD's.
"We think it is big business," said Sgt. Scott. "We think it is an easy way to make money, and it is something we are not going to tolerate here in the city of Jackson."
Officials with Nike say they actively fight this type of crime with private investigators. They say most of the fake products are made overseas and end up here through a massive illegal distribution network.