Lubbock police are investigating a counterfeit bill that showed up at a local restaurant and could be related to several incidents in Amarillo.
Lt. Neal Barron says a fake $20 circulated through Dairy Queen at 19th and Frankford Monday afternoon. Barron says counterfeiters are drawn to places where large numbers of people spending cash.
"Most the time with counterfeiting, the perpetrator tends to hit at high business times when there is a lot of people in the store and a line and the clerk doesn't have a lot of time to pay attention to the cash that exchanges hands," Barron said.
Store manager Rick Jasso used a counterfeit detection pen to see if the bill was real.
"It just felt a little weird. Something in me told me not to take it, but I went ahead and took it since it passed the pen test. Later I started the break down my register and make drops and I noticed that the mark I made on the bill had turned black, which denotes that it is a counterfeit bill," Jasso said.
Barron says you can also spot a counterfeit bill by looking at the ink.
"It's a little faded. And also the paper, that's another big thing because money has a unique feel," Barron said.
Police say they are investigating this incident to see if it could be connect to more than 40 reporter within the last month in Amarillo.
Sgt. Brent Barbee with the Amarillo Police Department says fake $5, $10, $20 and $50 are being passed at several businesses, with a variety of serial numbers. They have interviewed several people, but no one knew that the bills they were passing were fake. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed so far.
Back in Lubbock, police are looking for a suspect described as a black male wearing a blue baseball cap, a gray sweater, white t-shirt and black pants.
Reproducing money is a federal crime punishable up to 15 years in prison.
If you come across counterfeit money, police ask you not to return it to the passer if you can safely retain it. Then call police while the passer is still there. If they try to leave get a description of the car: make, model, color and license plate. Avoid unnecessary handling of the bill to help preserve finger prints.
If you have information about the person or persons passing the bills, contact Crime Line at 806-741-1000. As always, you can remain anonymous.