"Funny money" found in Cedar Rapids and Marion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"Funny money" found in Cedar Rapids and Marion

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- The Cedar Rapids Police Department says they have received reports of counterfeit $100 bills being passed at local businesses.

On January 2, 2010, police got a report from the Road Ranger gas station at 2349 Blairs Ferry Road NE that a woman entered the store at around 8:12 p.m. to buy cigarettes and used a $100 bill.  The clerk used a marker to verify the bill was real.  After further investigation, the bill was found to be fake.

At 8:33 p.m. on the same night, a woman and a man went to the Casey's gas station at 1435 Blairs Ferry Road NE and used a $100 bill to buy items.  That clerk also used a marker to verify the bill was real.  That bill too, was found to be fake.

The woman is described as a white female, 5'9" tall, weighing about 120 pounds.  She was wearing checkered pants, a black coat and had multi-colored, dreadlocked hair.  The man she was with is only described as a black male with dreadlocked hair.

Then, on January 4, 2010, a woman walked into the Vanity Store at Lindale Mall and bought clothing with a $100 bill. Again, the clerk used the marker and it showed the bill was legitimate, but was later found to be fake.

That woman is described as a black female, 5' - 5'2", 120 pounds, 18-20 years old, with braids and a ponytail.   She was wearing a red plaid coat with a jean skirt and leggings.  A man came in and spoke to her, but there is no description of him.

Police say that all the bills were found to be smaller in size than a regular $100 bill, and there were no security marks or watermarks.  They say the bills also had white edges and had the same serial numbers.

Police did find the woman that passed the bills at the Road Ranger and Casey's.  She says she received the money from a man while working at the Lumberyard.

On Tuesday, Marion Police received a report of a counterfeit $100 bill from Farmer's State Bank.  The bank is unsure of which store the fake bill came from.

Police warn the public to be on the lookout for any counterfeit bills and have suggestions of what to look for when accepting bills:

- Look for red and blue fibers embedded throughout the bill.
- Look for watermarks that can be seen when the bill is held up to the light. It will list the currency by spelling it out in the watermark.
- Sometimes the feel of the money is different as well.

For a complete list of ways to spot counterfeit bills, go to the United States Secret Service web site at http://www.ustreas.gov/usss/know_your_money.shtml.

If you have information regarding this, or any crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CR-CRIME.  If the information given leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a reward.  All calls are anonymous.

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