12/31/03 03-135

12/31/03 03-135


December 31, 2003   

Subject:           Arrest in DVD Counterfeit Case

San Francisco police arrested a man December 30 for selling counterfeit DVDs in front of the Metreon theatres complex at Fourth and Mission streets.  Brent Villatoro, 31, of San Mateo, was taken into custody after a citizen called police when he noticed that some of the DVDs for sale were still playing at theatres, including the multiplex just behind where Villatoro was selling the DVDs at $10 each.  The DVD selections included “The Haunted Mansion,” “Elf,” and “Something’s Gotta Give,” all currently in theatrical release.

Villatoro had been arrested on December 17 for selling counterfeit DVDs in front of Old Navy at Market and Fourth streets.  In that incident, as in the more recent one, Villatoro had a table set up with a laptop computer showing the films he was selling.  He was not charged in that case.  In  the December 30 incident, however, Villatoro was booked on forgery charges and remains in custody.

The counterfeit DVDs are produced by video recording a film as it plays in a theatre, an area of fraud that is growing.

For more information, please contact:

Inspector Earl Wismer
Fraud Section