Police warn of counterfeit bills
Area businesses are being warned by police to look out for counterfeit currency.
A recent posting on Newberg-Dundee Police Department's Facebook page warned there has been an uptick in counterfeit currency of all denominations in the area.
"While there are some interesting leads so far, we advise you to be on the lookout as merchants often end up with the loss," the post said.
Brian Hagen, NDPD public information officer, said that since May 1 there have been nine reported incidents with a mixture of denominations from $5 bills to $100 bills, which are not discernible using highlight markers.
The businesses hit by the counterfeiters were grocery stores, restaurants and other retail-type outlets, Hagen said, adding that an investigation is underway.
"Several of the cases have video evidence or witness statements with suspect information," he said. "Each incident is investigated individually by the responding officer, with detective involvement if a common suspect or large scale operation is discovered."
He added that the U.S. Secret Service is typically made aware of their cases and receive suspect information, but "It is up to their discretion to investigate at the federal level."
Although the NDPD doesn't have a threshold at which it will say the amount of counterfeit currency surfacing is greater than usual, the past several month's activity raised concern.
"Nine reported cases in less than four months was high enough to prompt an alert to the community," Hagen said.
If apprehended, those passing counterfeit bills could face felony charges of first-degree forgery, criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a forged device and other state charges, as well as more federal charges.
Hagen said he was unaware of any insurance that would safeguard a business that was a victim of counterfeiting, but typically only one bill is passed so the amount of the loss is usually small.
"Businesses can expect to absorb the loss as there is no reimbursement from banks or the government when the note is seized," he said.