KANSAS CITY, Mo. - City inspectors have ramped up covert sting operations across the metro this week.
Why? In part, it's at the request of Major League Baseball. The organization said it wants All-Star fans to experience the best of Kansas City during the festivities.
There are 43 events associated with the All-Star Game through Tuesday.
With the crowds, comes cash. MLB officials are accompanying city inspectors at baseball events, going undercover to keep fans from being taken.
John Harbrucker is with the city's regulated industries division. He looked just like any other fan when he approached a vendor in the 18 and Vine district on Monday.
He asked, "Hey guy. What's going on? What do you have to eat today?"
Harbrucker was trying to buy liquor from the sidewalk food vendor. A business is not supposed to sell liquor without a license.
The vendor passed.
"You don't have any beer. Good job," he said.
Another inspector walked down the street to try a different booth.
He asked, "Beer?"
The owner said, "No beer."
"No beer, ok," the inspector confirmed.
"A lot of people will want to earn a little extra money, so this is a good way to prevent it before it happens," Harbrucker explained. "There's several people we've already addressed."
Several MLB representatives are going out with inspectors to make sure no one is using the All-Star logo without paying for it, or selling phony All-Star merchandise.
Since 1998, MLB has confiscated 6 million counterfeit pieces.
Inspectors are also checking to see if unlicensed cabbies are picking up out of town visitors at the airport.
The city forced all cab drivers to go through extra security checks last week.
"It's not fair for the legitimate guys to go through all that extra, where these guys who have no licenses whatsoever are going in and taking the business from them," Harbrucker said.
But overall, he said there haven't been many problems.
"I think that's the majority of what people are doing - doing the right thing," Harbrucker said.
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