Counterfeit bills passed off at Asheboro businesses
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ASHEBORO -- Police say counterfeit bills have turned up at several local businesses. They're urging merchants to take a closer look at the bills they take in, especially those with large denominations.
Five counterfeit bills surfaced over the last week-and-a-half. A $10 bill and a $20 bill and three $100 bills with identical serial numbers.
"Which tells us that on the $100 bills that's probably one suspect,” said Detective. Jim Briles. “The other two are probably two different suspects."
Crooks passed off the bills at separate businesses and the counterfeit $10 bill was included in a bank deposit. Briles said clerks sometimes neglect to check bills with a counterfeit detection pen.
"The business is so busy that the clerks do not check the bills normally and that's why the crooks or the criminals get away," he said.
That wasn't the case at the Quik Chek store on Sunset Avenue where a clerk cleared a phony $100 bill after marking it with a detection pen. The store manager discovered the bill was bogus the next morning.
"The bill looked funny. It was dirty, plus it felt funny,” said Connie Jones. “So when I marked it with a counterfeit pen, it first marked correctly, but then it turned gray and then black."
Briles said the pen sometimes fails to flag counterfeit bills when criminals dip them in chemicals that help elude detection, so, a merchant's eyes and hands can be the best defense.
"You'll notice that the Ben Franklin portrait is not distinct,” said Briles as he pointed to one of the three fake $100 bills. “It doesn't stand out from the background and also you can tell that there's no watermark on this bill and also no security strip on this bill. You can feel the bill and tell it's not right."
Briles was hoping to catch the culprits quickly before they hurt more businesses. Asheboro merchants who accepted bills they later believed were counterfeit were urged to call Briles at (336)626-1300, extension 308.