BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
You may want to give your bills the onceover while Daytona Beach police officers identify and apprehend two men who passed off counterfeit currency as authentic at the CVS Pharmacy on LPGA Boulevard.
The two men exchanged the money for merchandise on June 20.
Video surveillance may make it difficult to identify either person as the two were dressed in women’s clothing. The first suspect wearing a white T-shirt and a black flowing skirt wore long black braids as he entered and exited the store. He stood between 5’7 and 6’1 and between 150-165 pounds. The second suspect wore tight skinny jeans, a white shirt, had a close-cropped haircut and stood between 5’3 and 5’6.
The video footage can be seen on the Daytona Beach Police Department’s YouTube page.
According to a police report, the store manager Axel Bralts stated that just before noon the two men entered into the store dressed as women. Bralts recalled one of the suspects carrying a white purse and wearing “a lot of jewelry.”
The man purchased two gift cards using two counterfeit $100 bills. The bills were not identified until after he received a call from another store that had already turned down the suspects attempting to use the fake $100 bills. It was then that Bralts went to the register to check if any fake bills were present and there were two.
The manager proceeded to call the clerk who accepted the bills and the clerk recalled receiving the bills and checking them under the store’s black light. This light is a mechanism in place that helps determine the authenticity of American currency.
However, he related that he did not know what he was looking for when using the light.
According to the police report, the U.S. Secret Service has been made aware of the incident.
Know the law
Police encourage store managers to make employees aware of what to look for to detect signs of counterfeit money when handling currency and to use special markers or other mechanisms to detect fakes.
Manufacturing counterfeit United States currency or altering genuine currency to increase its value is a violation of Title 18, Section 471 of the United States Code and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 15 years, or both for any amount of money over five cents. Possession of the money carries the same fine.
Anyone with information should contact the police department at 386-671-5100.