Palatka Police have reported counterfeit bills being passed to local merchants.
Assistant Chief of Police James Griffith said that there have been four incidents in the last month and half involving $10 and $20 bills.
Griffith said the police’s suspect in two of the reported cases is an unidentified white woman.
“We tell our merchants to calmly state, ‘The bill you’ve given me appears to be a counterfeit,’” Griffith said.
Merchants are instructed to contact police when they’re given a counterfeit bill. Griffith said most people who pass counterfeit bills tend to stay at the store.
While most of the counterfeits happened at local convenience stores, one occurred at the Palatka Daily News after a customer purchased an advertisement.
“The suspect, in that case, was not truly a suspect,” Griffith said. “It was a long-time customer that we don’t feel had any knowledge that it was a counterfeit bill.”
Griffith said the bill was discovered as an employee was checking the the day’s balance.
“They had done so few transactions they remembered who it was that gave that bill,” Griffith said. “So they tracked it back.”
He said in most cases people get counterfeit bills from somewhere else and don’t realize they are using them.
Counterfeiting is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Kangaroo Express and Murphy USA, two Palatka convenience stores, declined to comment Tuesday on the counterfeit incidents.