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Police: Wu-Mart owner sold bootleg DVDs

LILBURN - For about a week, police said a discount department store in Lilburn was ground zero for still-in-theaters DVD titles like "Bruno," "The Hangover" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

But buying and watching the DVDs - alluringly priced between $2 and $5 - would be considered felonious behavior, according to police.

Police found the cache of more than 100 counterfeit movies at Wu-Mart, a longstanding discount retailer on U.S. Highway 29 that sells everything from batteries to tennis shoes, said Lilburn police spokesman Det. Matt Lake.

Wu-Mart's owner, Zhong Dai, is charged with 37 felony counts of selling counterfeit materials. He remained at the Gwinnett County Jail on $4,810 bond Thursday.

Police were tipped off by a suspicious Wu-Mart patron, Lake said.

"We had a customer that went in and bought two movies," he said. "She went home to watch them and realized they were bootleg."

What clued the viewer in that the movies were bogus?

"The people getting up in the movie theater," Lake said.

Police found 37 different titles that Dai claimed had been shipped in from Corona, N.Y. He told police he'd been selling the movies only since late July.

"(Dai) said he met a guy on the side of the street, said he could sell (the DVDs) for a dollar a piece," Lake said. "Then (the alleged seller) mailed them down here."

Lake said the materials were certified as counterfeit by a member of the Motion Pictures Association of America. As part of the investigation, police watched a handful of the DVDS and found that, while entertaining, some of the movies were obviously filmed by someone with a handheld camera in a cinema, he said.

The selling of fake DVDs, in this case, appeared to be an isolated incident, Lake said.

"We haven't had this problem in Lilburn before, to my knowledge," he said.