Out-of-state vendors illegally peddling knockoff Boston Strong T-shirts outside the TD Garden during last week's One Fund benefit concert dropped the clothes and ran as city inspectors and police moved in on the illegitimate operation.
Vendors from New York set up outside the Garden during Thursday's concert and tried to sell the knockoff shirts without a permit, said Chief Michael Mackan of the code enforcement division for the city's Inspectional Services Department.
Mackan said the vendors literally dropped the clothes and ran when they spotted city officials.
"We never get to really write them a violation. ... It’s a cat-and-mouse game with them all night long," he said. "It's a very tiring game to keep up with."
Two local vendors who did have permits to sell shirts of their own design were cited, Mackan said, because they set up early during the concert. City regulations only allow the vendors to set up between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., but these vendors set up earlier in the afternoon to capitalize on the crowd heading into the Garden for the 7 p.m. show.
Last week's concert featuring Aerosmith, New Kids on the Block, the Dropkick Murphys and other bands was an effort to raise money for the One Fund, the charity set up by Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick to help the hundreds of victims injured in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.