Stillwater News Press

November 13, 2013

Officials investigate fake bills in Stillwater

By Megan Sando
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Police reports within the past two weeks show at least four instances of counterfeit bills being used at fast food drive-thrus in Stillwater.

Three of the reports occurred at a fast food restaurant in the 100 block of West McElroy Road.

On Oct. 30, the suspects attempted to pass counterfeit bills at the restaurant, and again on Nov. 2 at approximately 5:16 p.m., according to police reports.

Less than a week later, police reports indicated the two suspects were black males driving a light blue vehicle through the same drive-thru. The suspects used a $20 counterfeit bill at approximately noon.

At approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday, suspects used a counterfeit bill at the 100 block of East McElroy Road.

Stillwater Police spokesman Capt. Randy Dickerson said the department takes reports, forwarding them to Secret Service’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Adrian Andrews, Special Agent for the District of Oklahoma, said retailers need to check their bills, and recommends that shoppers check their change before leaving the store so that the counterfeit can be brought to the store’s attention.

Bills contain security features that identify them as genuine, Andrews said. Key details to look for include the portrait, Federal Reserve and Treasury seals, the border of the bill, serial numbers and paper.

• The genuine portrait looks lifelike, the counterfeit looks flat and too dark.

• A genuine seal has saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury that are clear, distinct and sharp.

• The border of a genuine bill is clear and unbroken, while the counterfeit has blurred and indistinct lines.

• The paper of a genuine currency has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Counterfeiters attempt to copy by making red and blue lines, that with a closer look, are only printed on the surface.

“People have money day in and day out, holding onto counterfeits without even knowing it,” Andrews said.

Oklahoma City sees $5,000 a week in counterfeits, he said, and $3,000 in Tulsa.

Andrews said one simple way to tell is by holding the bill up to the light, where an image of the President is in the upper-right corner.