Rock Hill police see increase in counterfeit cash

(Kristi O'Connor | WBTV)
(Kristi O'Connor | WBTV)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Rock Hill police say within the last two weeks 12 cases of counterfeit bills being passed have been reported.

Based on video surveillance they know that these cases are unrelated.

Sunday, police arrested Tyrik Richardson on fraud charges. Police were called to the McDonald's on Mount Gallant Road, in which Richardson is accused of trying to pay for food with a fake $100 bill.

According to police reports, the fast food chain employee refused to take the bill and Richardson took off.

Immediately after the McDonald's call, police responded to Home Depot Boulevard in reference to a suspicious car, matching the description of the car that pulled through the McDonald's drive-thru.

Richardson was arrested after police found seven counterfeit $100 bills in the car.

The most recent cases were reported on Monday. Four fake 20 dollar bills were used to pay for a meal at Ruby Tuesdays on Dave Lyle Boulevard.

Police were also notified of two fake $100 bills used to pay for a game console at G2K Games in the Galleria Mall. Bryan Martin was on shift when the man who bought the game console came into the store.

Martin says he used the pen-test on the two large bills and they passed. It wasn't until the next morning when they took the bills to the bank that they determined they were counterfeit.

Rock Hill police say the pen-test can fail because it detects how much starch is within the fabric of the note, which can be fabricated.

"I was bummed, I mean I know it happens, but it still doesn't feel good," Martin said.

Police say what could have given the crook away, was the serial numbers on the two bills. Police say they matched, which is a giveaway that the bill was copied.

Other security features include the hologram on the right side of bills, raised text in the bottom right corner and an aluminum strip on the left side of the note.

However, bills that were made before the 1980s will have little to no safety features instilled in the bill.

The majority of bills Rock Hill police are seeing being passed are counterfeit money meant to be used for music videos.

"It will say something like 'For Major Motion Picture Use Only,' Detective Keith Dugan said. "A lot of times it will also say on the left 'this is not real money,' or 'this is a joke'."

Dugan says especially during the holiday season, store clerks need to pay closer attention to the bills they are accepting. He says if you suspect a bill is fake, ask for a manager to look at it as well.

"A lot of times if you challenge them, these people will just run away," Dugan said. "They will either say they didn't know or exit the store, they won't even put up a fight."

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