Scalpers Out For the Hottest Badge in Town - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Scalpers Out For the Hottest Badge in Town

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Augusta, GA -

Every April, thousands of people from across the globe flock to Augusta for The Masters.

 Master's badges can mean big money on the resale market, and scalpers are willing to stand as long as it takes to make some cash. That's perfectly long as the scalpers are 27-hundred feet away from the gates of Augusta National.

Patrick Clayton Richmond County Sheriff's Office says, "We want our citizens to be happy , and our patrons to be happy." Last year, there were some unhappy patrons after dozens of arrests for scalping.

According to reports one man simply asked for a free badge -- once a deputy over heard him... he was arrested, had to go to probate court, and faced a $500 fine.  His case was ultimately  dropped.

Courtney Elledge reporting, "How is asking for a ticket illegal? " Chief Deputy Clayton answers," Well again, if you do it within 27-hundred feet of a venue it is,  and we want to try to avoid the controversy of last year. "

Clayton admits the Sheriff's Office was a little tough last year.

So this year, deputies and investigators will try to avoid making arrests, especially since most patrons are from other states and countries; and may not know Georgia law.

"We are going to be targeting commercial scalpers. But we truly want voluntarily compliance. For example, you will be warned to leave the area. There will be plenty of signs, and you will be warned. We don't want to have to arrest anyone unless we have to," says Clayton.

Bottom line--if you're thinking about getting inside the gates next week, you may have to pay a pretty penny, and you'll have to be careful where you do it.



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