Three suspects charged with felony forgery.
ALPHARETTA, GA -- Alpharetta police and the Secret Service are trying to figure out how long three suspects they arrested were spending counterfeit $100 bills at Atlanta area malls.
Police arrested the suspects in the parking lot of North Point Mall on December 31st. They were called by loss prevention officers at Macy's. When police searched a car the suspects were in they found several items that were purchased with fake money. Police said most of the items were clothing.
"They would go to the store, pass the counterfeit money off, buy a small item and then return later in the day to get cash back based upon a receipt," said Alpharetta police officer George Gordon.
Officer Gordon said the suspects took legitimate five dollar bills and dipped them in chemicals to wash off the dye. "And then they would imprint it with a one hundred dollar bill imprint," he said.
Merchants usually use pens to check for legitimate currency. But Gordon said the pens detect U.S. currency, they don't detect denominations of bills.
Police are alerting merchants to take two more steps. Gordon said they should hold the bill up to the light. On the left side of the bill there will be a metallic strip with the amount written on it. And on the right side of the bill will be a ghost image of the portrait on the bill. "By taking these simple steps it cuts off these types of criminals from committing this activity," he said.
Police found twelve fake $100 bills when the arrests were made. They also found more than $1,400 in legitimate currency. They recovered a Glock 45 caliber handgun and receipts from stores at three other Atlanta area malls.