Authorities targeting counterfeit Nikes

Jan. 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Local and federal authorities say certain small stores in Milwaukee are selling counterfeit versions of Nike shoes at discount prices.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Sunday that authorities are using marked cash and informants to locate those local stores offering counterfeit Nike shoes such as Air Force One sneakers.

Stores determined to be offering the knock-off shoes are raided and the individuals selling the illegal items are arrested, authorities said.

Authorities insist such raids and arrests are intended to limit product piracy, which is credited with costing the U.S. economy $200 billion annually.

Milwaukee police Detective David Baker said in some cases, those stores selling the counterfeit items also serve as a site for additional crimes to take place. Baker said those additional crimes can include stolen goods and drugs.

Baker told the Journal Sentinel that counterfeit Air Force One shoes are being sold for as little as $40 a pair, less than 50 percent of the retail cost of the popular shoes.

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