Employees working drive-thrus at two local fast food restaurants in Clinton caught attempts to pass counterfeit money as payment for food orders, and the suspect in both cases drove off without getting his change or his meal.
The first incident occurred Friday night, during the dinner hour, when the suspect, described only as a white male in his 50s, drove up to the Taco Bell window to pay for his food and handed the cashier a $20 bill.
According to reports filed at the Clinton Police Department, when the cashier checked the money, she determined that it was fake and ask the driver to come inside to pay for his food.
The driver, who was traveling in a truck, told the employee he had other money and would come inside and pay for his meal. He never did, and the cashier reported the crime to police.
The next morning, across the street at McDonalds, a suspect attempted to pay for food he ordered at the drive-thru window with a $20. This time, when the cashier went to check the money, the man, driving a truck, reportedly left the area, leaving the fake bill and his food behind. The suspect was only described as a white male.
Clinton police are currently investigating both incidents, and reports did not indicate whether the two incidents were linked in any way.
Assistant police chief Donald Edwards said the passing of counterfeit money often comes in spurts. “That’s usually the way you see it, in waves.”
And like last week, when a wave of those counterfeit bills showed up in the county, Edwards noted, as county law enforcement did only a few days before, that it’s possible that the person passing the money might not even know it’s fake.
That’s particularly true, he said, when it’s smaller bills that are being passed.
However, he did not specifically address the drive-thru incidents, but talked, instead, generally about counterfeit money. And he urged business employees and individuals to be diligent when dealing with money being passed to them.
“Any time you are dealing with money, it’s good to be attuned to what you are being given. Whether’s it’s in a business environment or at a yard sale, pay close attention to what is getting passed,” the assistant chief stressed.
Edwards also pointed to the U.S. Secret Service website where, he said, detailed information was provided on how to detect fake money.
“There are some good resources out there to help. I would recommend taking a look at those sites, too,” Edwards said.