Excise police give inside look of flea market raid

Shoes confiscated during Excise Police raid at Liberty Bell Flea Market.

Marion County, Ind. (WISH) — $500,000 worth of counterfeit items were confiscated from Liberty Bell Carpet and Flea Market on East Washington Street.

Indiana State Excise Police say it’s not typical for them to investigate flea markets, but thanks to a shopper tip and a diligent excise officer, they were able to serve a search warrant Sunday morning.

“We had quite a bit of shoes. Air Jordan, Adidas, Nike. Jewelry and sunglasses were popular too,” Excise Cpl. Brandon Thomas said.

The evidence locker at this Indiana State Excise Police location, is packed.

“We took thousands of items out of there. In fact, it filled up two U-Haul trailers and a pull-behind trailer,” Cpl. Thomas said.

Corporal Brandon Thomas says officers spent nearly seven hours in the flea market Sunday. Most of the counterfeit commodities were taken to Illinois where investigators will work with manufacturers to prove they’re knock-offs.

“We’ll use these items in our criminal case. As you can see there’s a lot of name brands that are represented,” Cpl. Thomas said.

And police say those selling the stock, went to great length to make it look like the real thing.

“Probably the tag costs more than what the jersey did to manufacture,” Cpl. Thomas said while showing a hologram tag. “Some of these purses were actually blank. They had no emblem on them whatsoever, but the people who were operating the vending area were actually gluing these symbols on before they were being purchased.”

The Liberty Bell Flea Market owners were not available for comment Tuesday. The parking lot was empty and the store is closed Monday through Thursday, but police say the investigation is still open.

“Once we process all the evidence, our reports will be turned over to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office and then we’ll follow through with that with hopefully some arrest warrants,” Cpl. Thomas said.

No arrests were made Sunday, according to Excise Police.

Police took more than 10,000 items including the following:

  • 3575 pairs of shoes
  • 3192 articles of clothing
  • 1420 hats
  • 1226 purses
  • 647 pairs of sunglasses
  • 403 pieces of jewelry
  • 165 belts

Cpl. Thomas is warning shoppers to look out for counterfeit items. While the items seem like a good deal, police say using a debit or credit card with those who are in the fraud business could be risky.

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