News

One arrested in counterfeit plot

Fake twenties passed at local stores; Secret Service gets involved

Can you spot a fake? The most recent rash of fake twenties all have the same serial number and no water marks. Can you spot a fake? The most recent rash of fake twenties all have the same serial number and no water marks. One arrest has been made and Rockdale police and the U. S. Secret Service believe they have leads in cases involving a rash of counterfeit 20-dollar bills which have been circulating in Rockdale.

“We’ve probably had 30 instances of phony $20s, and about $600 has been passed,” Police Lt. J. D. Newlin said.

The Secret Service, part of the U. S. Treasury Department, was alerted and is actively assisting police.

“About all we’re able to say right now is that we have leads and are pursuing them,” Newlin said.

Persistent

Angela Marie Whitlow, 23, of Rockdale, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with forgery of a government document in connection with the investigation.

She remains in the Milam County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bond.

“This arrest came afer we received word somone had tried to pass a phony $20-bill at Gill’s Shop-N-Go,” Newlin said.

“The subject left that convenience store, then apparently went right down the street about one-half block and tried to pass what we believe to have been the same $20 at USA Foodmart,” he said.

Police, who had been alerted by store employees, made the arrest.

Basketball game

Convenience stores have been the favorite targets for the counterfeiters but the phony money has turned up in other places.

“We had a couple of bills passed at a Rockdale basketball game,” Newlin said.

“This is very out of the ordinary,” Newlin said. “We’ll get an occaional fake bill but all of this happened within the space of about a week. It’s obvious Rockdale is a target.”

‘Don’t give it back’

What can merchants do to avoid being ripped off by the funny money folks?

“Keep an eye on the bills you’re getting,” Newlin said. “Most of these have a serial number that starts with ‘GK.’ If you get one of those you should be suspicious immediately.

“Call us at 446-3436 immediately,” he said. “Don’t give the bill back and don’t make change.

“If they tell you they don’t want to wait for the police to show up that’s pretty good proof it’s a counterfeit bill,” Newlin said.


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