2018-10-21 / Front Page

Alleged counterfeiters cornered in Imlay City

810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com

Police from Imlay City and several surrounding communities surround a car with two women suspected of passing counterfeit $100 bills in communities along M-53. 
Submitted photo Police from Imlay City and several surrounding communities surround a car with two women suspected of passing counterfeit $100 bills in communities along M-53. Submitted photo IMLAY CITY — Quick thinking staff at the Dairy Queen restaurant on South Cedar Street helped Imlay City Police capture a pair of Detroit women who reportedly had been passing bogus $100 bills in communities along M-53 in recent days.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Brandon Jones, owner of the Imlay City Dairy Queen. He said an 18-year-old man stalled the pair at the restaurant’s drive-up window while his 23-year-old manager called police.

Jones said the women came through the restaurant’s drive-thru Monday (Oct. 15) night and made a purchase with a $100 bill. The next day, Jones said, he got a call from his bank telling him the bill was counterfeit.

Marlette Police Dept. Chief Brian McGinnis said four businesses in his town — Rite Aid, Family Dollar, Dollar General and McDonald’s — got hit for a total of $900 in counterfeit bills in a one-hour span Monday starting about 1 p.m. He said the businesses were able to provide his officers with video of the suspects and their vehicle.

He noted one suspect asked a clerk at the Dollar General store if there were any other Dollar General stores in the area.

Tuesday (Oct. 16) evening, Almont Police Chief Andrew Martin, said employees at Rite Aid, Hungry Howie’s and Subway all reported getting stuck with phony $100 bills.

Imlay City Police Chief Scott Pike said a pair of his officers were in the Tim Horton’s restaurant at 1:42 p.m. Tuesday when employees told them they had rejected a $100 bill from two women at the drive-up window a few minutes earlier. Pike said employees at the Rite Aid store on the north side of town told his officers they had rejected a $100 bill from a pair of women matching the suspects’ description.

Pike had sent out a warning on the department’s Nixle system the day before after employees at Taco Bell and Burger King reported getting counterfeit bills. He warned that counterfeit detection pens were not working on them and they all have the same serial number — JB69122674B.

Jones said his Dairy Queen employees remembered the women Tuesday when they came to the restaurant because they had been “extremely rude” when they had been stopped the day before.

He said his employee at the window delayed the duo, telling them the ice cream machine was broken, until police units from Imlay City, Almont and Dryden filled the parking lot. The two women in the car, both 23, were arrested and taken to the Lapeer County Jail.

Pike said Sgt. Tim Wolford and Officer David Rock, found $1,000 in real money, three fake $100 bills in the silver Dodge Avenger the women were captured in and a few small items that had been purchased at local stores.

Pike said he believes the arrested women were working out of Detroit. He said his office has been in contact with the Secret Service.

McGinnis said stores in Marlette were hit last month by people passing counterfeit $5 and $20 bills. Martin said it’s been about a year since anyone’s tried passing counterfeit money in Almont.

Jones said after the women were arrested, the owner of the nearby Jets Pizza came by and praised his employees for their quick thinking. He also offered them some free pizza. Jones said he’ll be “doing something special” for his employees.

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