Local News

Travel Agent Dashes Vacation Dreams for Many

Posted November 20, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— A Garner travel agent, accused to leaving town with her client's money, has been arrested in West Virginia.

Garner police say Kelly Kirk (pictured at right), the owner of Casino Connections, left town with more than $30,000 of her clients' money. Her husband and 7-month-old baby also disappeared.

The search for Kirk ended Thursday when a Garner detective traced a telephone number through the Internet

Kelly Kirk is now in custody in Huntington, W.Va. She faces 11 charges of obtaining property by false pretense.

Police say if you have questions about a travel agent, you should call the number shown at left, above.

But Kirk's clients weren't the only ones hurt by her alleged actions. Another travel agency, housed in the same building as Kirk's, has become the mistaken target of anger over Kirk.

Joanne and Pam Kirsch own J and B Travel which resides on a different floor of the Hartwell Plaza on Highway 70 in Garner. With the similarity between their last name and Kirk's, it's easy to see how some people might be confused.

Joanne Kirsch says their trouble started as soon as the news about Kirk broke.

Her daughter, Pam Kirsch says their business has already been damaged.

The negative publicity, says Joanne Kirsch, is going to hurt the entire travel industry.

The Kirsches say they fear consumers will shy away from using travel agents.

Police say if you have questions about a travel agency, call the number shown at left, above.