LAKE CITY, Fla. -- The Lake City Police Department is investigating where counterfeit bills came from after seeing an increase of the funny money being used or attempted to use as payment.
The police department began seeing the increase July 15. So far the Lake City Police Department has received ten separate complaints of counterfeit money being used by customers, according to a news release from Lake City Police Department Assistant Public Information Officer Craig Strickland.
July 15 a clerk from the S&S Food Store on North Marion Avenue reported an unknown man gave him a $50 bill for a $3 item when the store was busy. The clerk gave the customer $47 in change and the man then left the store. The clerk discovered the bill was counterfeit after the store was less busy and then he called the police.
Other stores that have seen the fake bills pass through their tills include two CVS locations, a Family Dollar on South Main Boulevard, the S&S on East Duval Street.
The three most recent incidents happened at a Best Western Inn, a McDonald's and a Sav-A-Lot.
July 23 a man Strickland described as being middle-aged and white insisted on paying with cash for his overnight stay at the Best Western Inn on US-90. The man paid with two fake $50 bills.
July 24 the Assistant Manager of the McDonald's on SW Main Boulevard said over the past several days of business the store had taken in two fake $20 bills and one fake $5 bill.
A man also tried to use a fake $20 bill to pay for two packs of hot dogs at the Sav-A-Lot on East Duval Street. Strickland said the clerk asked the man about the fake bill and when he did the man ran out of the store.
Lake City Police Department Chief Argatha Gilmore said, "Our investigators are working hard to apprehend the suspects who are committing this counterfeit operation in our community. We need our business owners to be proactive and to be alert to any suspicious activity as they exchange currencies in their businesses. Don't hesitate to call us and report the suspicious activity."
Sgt. Paul Kash with the Lake City Police Department Criminal Investigative Division recommended local businesses take a few extra seconds and feel the bills, check for known security measures in the currency and utilize counterfeit ID pens.
First Coast News