The Smithville Police Department reports that counterfeit bills have shown up at four businesses in recent days, including Walmart, McDonald's, Rite Aid Pharmacy, and Jewel's Market.
Detective Sergeant Jerry Hutchins', Jr. says the bills have no water marks or bar codes and some were not cut squarely. The bills also have some of the same serial numbers.
In the Walmart incident, Officer Travis Bryant states in his report that " On March 21st at approximately 10:00 a.m., I responded to Walmart in regard to $240 in counterfeit $20 bills. Upon arrival, I spoke with Jozef Shelton who advised me that three persons had entered the store and that one of them had passed the money at two separate registers. Then on March 22nd at noon I was called back to Walmart to speak with Mr. Shelton who said one of the three persons from the day before had attempted to pass two more counterfeit $20 bills."
In the McDonald's case, Officer Matt Holmes states in his report that, "On March 24th, I responded to McDonalds for a possible counterfeit bill that was passed through the drive through window. Upon arrival, I met with the manager, Judy Duncan, who advised me that an employee, who was attending the money window, reported that she had marked a $20 bill that was passed at the window and that the bill was a counterfeit. Duncan said she went to the window and advised the boys in the car that their $20 bill was counterfeit. She said the boys then produced the money to pay for their food and drove away. Upon a check of the money from the prior days, two more counterfeit bills were spotted. All three bills had the same serial numbers."
Detective Sergeant Hutchins says a $20 counterfeit bill also showed up at Rite Aid Pharmacy on March 24th and a phony $20 bill was passed March 25th at Jewel's Market.
Police Chief Richard Jennings and Detective Sergeant Hutchins urge local business owners and operators to examine closely any bills passed at their establishments and report any suspicious activity to the police department.
The cases have also been brought to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service.
Hutchins says there are suspects in the cases but no arrests have been made.