More Counterfeit Bills Found

Posted: June 22, 1989

Middletown and Lower Southampton police are investigating a rash of counterfeit bill-passing that may be related to February incidents in which more than $4 million in counterfeit money was found in Lower Bucks.

Lower Southampton police said several hundred dollars' worth of bogus $20 bills were used June 17 and 18 to make purchases at seven stores in the T.J. Maxx Mall at Street Road and Bustleton Pike.

According to Det. Charles J. Borchick, the stores involved were Thrift

Drug, The Beer Store, USA Video, Trevose Shoe Store, McCrory's 5 & 10, Foot Fads shoe store and the Hit or Miss clothing store. Most of the money was forwarded directly to the U.S. Treasury Department for examination.

In the Middletown cases, one fake $20 bill was passed at the Wawa store at 1528 Trenton Rd. in the early morning hours of June 20 and another was passed shortly before 2 p.m. June 18 at the Radio Shack store in the Oxford Valley Mall, according to Lt. Richard Brigham.

Police said none of the store clerks involved knew which customer had given them the fake bills. Borchick said it is "very possible" the bills are related to ones discovered by authorities four months ago.

According to authorities, about $4.3 million in $20 bills was found Feb. 28 in a fishing pond in Bristol Township and another $400,000 was found the same day in a trash receptacle in the Franklin Commons apartment complex in Bensalem.

Gordon S. Heddell, assistant special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Philadelphia District, which includes Southeastern Pennsylvania, said his agency is still finding counterfeit bills in the area that appear to be from that batch because of matching details on the bills. A bureau of the Treasury Department, the Secret Service investigates all counterfeit money.

Heddell said yesterday that the probe into the two March discoveries is continuing. He did not know if agents had begun looking into the newer counterfeits yet.

Describing those bills, Borchick said, "They're very good pieces of bogus money. Unless you actually knew what you were looking for, you would accept it."

He noted they can be detected by a pattern of lines forming blocks in the white area on the front of the bill, where red and green fibers normally would be seen. He is asking clerks noticing any such bills to get the license-plate number of the person's car.

Police said that counterfeit bills often bear the same serial number. Three numbers have been on the bills so far detected in Middletown and Lower Southampton: E98457180D, B83223496K and B41726544K.

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