Thursday, April 15, 2004

Suspect in ticket
scam turns himself in

Police say Wayne Abe may
have reaped at least $200,000
from his alleged victims

A man wanted by police for allegedly operating a Hawaiian Airlines ticket scam turned himself in yesterday.

Police said Wayne T. Abe, 55, was arrested on a $35,000 grand jury theft warrant yesterday morning at the main police station. Abe's first court appearance will be on Monday, and prosecutors are asking that anyone who believes they were a victim of Abe to make a report with the Police Department.

In the meantime, detectives are compiling reports that continue to come in and that have been made since last week. Police said victims could have lost more than $200,000 so far.

Hawaiian Airlines officials said last week that a suspect named "Wayne" or "Dwayne" had been soliciting people to buy five round-trip mainland tickets aboard Hawaiian at $250 apiece, with a sixth ticket free. The suspect required payment upfront in cash, and though he provided the ticket for the first trip, the other round-trip tickets were discovered to be invalid.

Police investigators said that in many cases the victims bought more than one block of tickets for group trips involving family, friends or co-workers. In one case police said victims lost an estimated $60,000.

Police in Windward Oahu reported more than $100,000 in losses for victims in their area alone.


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