The New Richmond Police Department is currently investigating the counterfeit circulation of three $50 bills within the village.
On March 15, three counterfeit $50 bills were passed at the Family Dollar Store, the River Towne IGA, and the Speedway gas station/convenient store.
“The counterfeiters know what they are doing,” said Police chief David Willoughby. “Counterfeiters are smart. The three village businesses that were victimized did do everything right to protect themselves.”
The $50 bills were of decent quality; the counterfeit detector pens that most stores, including these three, mark money with before acceptance were unable to spot them as fakes.
The fake $50 bills circulated in the village did not display the several security features that authentic money contains.
"Real money has very fine blue and red threads, or bars, woven in," said the chief. "These did not. Also, counterfeit bills feel thicker than real money. It looks as if two sheets of paper were glued together to counterfeit these bills."
The ink used to print currency never completely dries; one can usually quite easily rub it off. The ink used on the counterfeit bills was more permanent, Willoughby said.
The passing of counterfeit money has dwindled over the past five or six years thanks in large part to the printing of new bills being released into circulation. But this has also given counterfeiters ample time to duplicate the more advanced bills.
During one of the incidents, a store clerk was able to obtain a description of a suspect and the car he exited the parking lot in. He is described as a white male, approximately 300-350 pounds, with brown hair. The car he was driving away in was an older model gold and maroon Ford Econoline Van with maroon curtains hanging in the windows.
"It has been awhile since we have had counterfeit money circulated in the village," said Chief Willoughby. "We have had some information trickle in, but nothing solid about the suspects has come to light yet."
The police department is advising all businesses in the village and the county to not rely upon the detector pens because they were ineffective in this case; they are encouraging all businesses to examine all $50 bills closely to determine their authenticity.
Anyone with information is asked to phone the New Richmond Police Department at (513) 553-3122.