Arlington police have seven reported cases of counterfeit bills being used in town in the past month, detective Sgt. Jonathan Ventura said.
Arlington police usually see only a couple of cases involving fake bills a month, he said.
The recent cases aren't believed to be related. Whoever's making the fake money likely is motivated more by drug use than sophisticated profit schemes, he said.
"There's nothing saying this is a trend or an organization or one particular person," he said. "It appears to be a spike anomaly for us."
Detectives have obtained surveillance video in some cases and continue to investigate, he said.
The businesses hit so far include gas stations, a convenience store, a hotel and a sports supply shop, he said. It's likely the money changed hands a few times without people knowing what they were spending.
The money was mostly $20 bills but included one $50 bill and one $100 bill, he said. The bills apparently were put together using home printing equipment.
People should be careful, Ventura said. Pens used to detect fake money don't work in all cases, such as when real money is washed and re-printed.
Arlington police say key signs of counterfeit money include a lack of watermarks or holograms, money that feels or looks odd, and unusual serial numbers.
"They all have a number of features to detect counterfeiting," Ventura said. "It takes somebody just moments to look for those features."
In most cases, knowingly spending counterfeit money is felony forgery under state law.
For more information about detecting counterfeit money, visit www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org
More Local News Headlines
Local fire crews help battle Wenatchee blaze Two-year, $38.2B state budget passes; shutdown averted Snohomish County sheriff: Help us solve young couple’s 1987 murders Proposed ferry fares on deck at Whidbey Island hearing Granite Falls seeks grant to replace 81-year-old bridge Granite Falls to hike vehicle license fees by $20 Front Porch: Snohomish hosts outdoor movies Tulalip fire death blamed on outdoor burning that spread
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.