POLICE are hunting a passenger who tried to use a fake pass to travel on the Metro.
The fraudster tried to get on a train at Seaburn Metro station, but fled when he was rumbled, leaving the counterfeit pass behind, earlier this month.
Nexus bosses today said fraud such as this costs them about £1million a year – which could be spent improving the services for fee-paying passengers.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers have now released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in connection with the offence.
Pc Mick Proudfoot said: “Nexus ticket inspectors were carrying out a revenue operation at Seaburn station on Monday, July 8, when they stopped a man.
“When asked to produce his ticket, he swiftly flashed his pass, but when inspectors asked to have a closer look, the man dropped his ticket and ran from the station.
“After staff inspected the ticket, they discovered it was fraudulent pass.”
Officers are now trawling though CCTV from the station and speaking to passengers and members of staff in a bid to track the passenger down.
Huw Lewis, head of communications at Nexus, which owns and manages Metro, said: “Fraud costs us around £1 million a year, and because Metro does not make a profit and needs taxpayer subsidy, that is money which would otherwise be invested in a better service.
“We urge anyone with information in this case to come forward.”
Pc Proudfoot added: “If you recognise the man, or have any information which could help the investigation, please contact BTP.”
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference B17/NEA of 26/07/2013.
Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.