The Rainier Police Department is advising business operators to carefully check currency they are taking in.
The advisory follows bogus bill investigations by the law enforcement agenc over the past few weeks.
Around May 13, tucked into some “found property” was a fake $100 bill with “motion picture prop” printed on it – and according to Rainier Police Department (RPD) Clerk Susan Sullivan, that particular counterfeit “looks very good.”
Sullivan said she also believed there were some bills found in the May 13th stash that had Chinese writing on them. Various state outlets have recently reported that counterfeit U.S. currency involving Chinese characters is being passed around in southern Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Then, on May 24th, the RPD received a tip from Dollar General that they had received a $10 bill that “felt wrong.”
“They just thought it felt different,” Sullivan said. “They said it had too much yellow on it.”
Since the Dollar General did not have a scanner they could use to verify their suspicions, employees reached out to RPD who sent Officer Troy Caldwell down to pick it up. He took the bill to a local establishment known to have a scanner and indeed determined it to be a fake.
Both counterfeits were turned over to the United States Secret Service.
On May 31, the police responded to another report of counterfeit cash. Three counterfeit $100 bills were found in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet. The bills were destroyed.
“Pay attention to how it feels,” Sullivan said. “Really look at the bills. We strongly encourage people to have counterfeit pens.”
Those pens can be purchased at most office supply stores.
The Chronicle contacted the St. Helens Police Department and Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to determine if the counterfeit seizures were isolated to the Rainier area or if they have been found in other parts of the county. At press time, those agency officials had reported no counterfeit cash investigations in their jurisdictions.
If you suspect you have come across counterfeit money in your local transactions, you are urged to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 503-397-1521.