Counterfeit money is being passed in Clinton again, the first time a rash of fake bills have been seen in the area in quite some time.
And Clinton police are urging business employees to be cautious in taking cash, particularly bigger bills.
“We get this periodically,” said police Chief Jay Tilley. “This is the biggest catch we’ve seen in a while.”
Tilley said counterfeit money shows up in spurts. People will lay low awhile and then begin distributing the bills again, he noted.
That’s apparently what has happened this week, with two local businesses reporting finding fake bills that had been passed by someone frequenting their establishment.
Friendly Check Cashing on Sunset Avenue was one of those businesses that fell victim to the counterfeit money. Police reports show staff members called law enforcement after discovering three fake bills while doing a recent inventory.
Two $20 bills and a $100 bill were discovered to be fake.
Reports note that employees said they had video of all those who had been in their business.
Also on Sept. 12, an employee with Express Mart on Russell Street in Clinton reported that a man walking into the store and paid for gas with a $20 bill that turned out to be fake as well.
Like the other business, video was taken of all those who came into the store on that day.
Tilley said the video gives officers a good starting point to search for suspects.
But he was quick to point out that employees need to be cautious when taking money, too, checking it carefully for its authenticity.
“The markers are often good, but they need to physically check the money as well. That’s particularly true of bigger bills. Most of the time, when you hold the money up and inspect it closely you can tell that it’s not real. If employees can be diligent in checking the money, it may help them become a victim,” the police chief stressed.
Anyone with information about either counterfeit incident is asked to call the police at 910-592-3105.