LAWTON, Okla._Lawton police are investigating several cases of counterfeit bills being passed at local gas stations.
So far, at least half a dozens reports have been filed by various gas stations throughout the city including EZ-GO, Stripes, and Phillips 66. Lawton police have confiscated several counterfeit five, ten, and twenty dollar bills.
Police have said the serial numbers printed on the counterfeit money have all been the same. Some of the cash is even being handed over to police since in some cases it's obvious that the money is fake. Police say the fake bills have more of a blue tint instead of green. And as far as how they're doing it, the Philips 66 manager explained that the criminals usually try to purchase anything small from cigarettes, gas, and snacks. He says the influx of fake money doesn't normally happen this time of year.
The manager says gas stations usually see an influx in counterfeit money during big holidays, like Christmas and the beginning of the year. He was surprised to hear from a store clerk that someone had come in recently to purchase gas with a counterfeit ten dollar bill. He says he's trained his clerks to not only mark the money, but also hold it up to the light and look for details like the security strip to make sure it's real and that's all it took for the clerk to know it wasn't real.
The clerk denied the customer service, kept the counterfeit bill, and immediately called police. The manager says that's only one of several times it's happened at that store.
He's lost about $200 worth of merchandise in the six years he's been working there, but because of the new ways to detect the loss of money, his business hasn't suffered as much. Police have now confiscated the counterfeit bill and they are currently reviewing the surveillance footage.
So far, no names or descriptions have been released, and the cases are still under investigation.