Counterfeit bills show up in Bedford

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By Tom Wilmoth

At least two counterfeit $20 bills were turned in by Bedford businesses to authorities last week.

Those businesses include Rainbow Restaurant and a local body shop, according to Bedford Police Chief Jim Day.

"We do have a very good suspect," Day said.

Day said investigators have not yet been able to apprehend that person. "We're not sure where he has gotten these (counterfeit bills) and how many he's passed."

Day encouraged local businesses to purchase and utilize a pen that helps identify fake $20 bills. When used, the pen's ink turns black if it's a counterfeit. The pen is available at most office supply stores.

The bills turned in by local businesses were identified as counterfeit through how they felt, Day said. "The texture of the bill is not very good. That's how they recognized those two," he said.

He expects more bills might have been used.

Day said the department would be notifying the Secret Service about the counterfeit bills. "Sometimes they might have information that will help us with the case," he said.

The local department will probably handle the investigation, unless considerably more counterfeit bills are found or if the investigation crosses jurisdictional lines.

Day said the man suspected of passing a counterfeit bill at one of the locations was identified by an employee. Whether that person knew the bill was counterfeit has yet to be determined.

"Businesses should be alert to more bills being out there," Day said.

If a business suspects it has been given a counterfeit bill, a representative should contact the police department, Day said. It would also be helpful to get a description of who gave the business the bill and any vehicle information, such as a license tag number.