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Police cut down on fake ID use in Clarendon

Arlington police cuts down on fake ID use in Clarendon (ABC7)

Rowdy crowds and bar fights were becoming a common occurrence in parts of Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood, but police are not using force to fix the problem, they are focusing on finding fakes.

"If you try to use a fake ID it comes with adult consequences," said Cpl. Jim Mastoras, Arlington County Police.

Connecticut, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland are some of the most common states found in a stack of fake IDs that Arlington County Police have collected since May.

"Since we started the awareness campaign for fake IDs, the restaurants have turned in over 450 fake IDs," Mastoras said.

Police have been partnering with bars and restaurants conducting a high-visibility underage drinking campaign. The focus has been in Clarendon, and since its launch in May, hundreds of high-quality fake IDs have been taken out of the hands of minors.

"We've seen a lot less incidents," said Erik Etherly, manager at DonTito. “With the older crowd coming in, that's of age, they know they don't have to worry about drinking with underage people that cause issues."

Etherly said during the summer, DonTito saw about 20 fake IDs a week.

Every Friday and Saturday night police are now stationed around the establishments and they've trained the businesses how to spot a fake. Mastoras makes the rounds each week to collect the Fake Ids recovered by the bars.

Police have also placed a QR code on the windows outside bars. People may think it's a drink special, but when you use your phone to scan the code a fake ID PSA pops up, which warns you to think before you drink.

"You could be charged with possession of a fake ID, which is a misdemeanor. You could also be charged with identity theft," Mastoras said.

Police said the campaign is working and businesses now have the tools to help stop underage drinking.

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