Beware of bogus bills here
Cairo businesses are on the lookout for fake cash after a rash of counterfeit $50 bills was reported in recent days. A counterfeit $100 bill was reported to Cairo Police as recently as Monday as investigators continue to probe the original six cases involving the $50s.
One customer who tried to pass a bogus $50 bill last week has been arrested and charged with three counts of forgery in the first degree. Cory Jackie Smith, 20, allegedly gave a forged $50 to a clerk at Murphy USA around 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30, according to Cairo Police Chief Keith Sandefur. Smith was trying to buy a Pepsi, but when the clerk wrote on the bill with a special pen that detects counterfeits and discovered it was fake, Smith paid for the soda with two $1 bills, and asked the clerk to give him the $50 bill back. The clerk refused to relinquish the counterfeit bill, and Smith returned to the rear passenger seat of a Honda he had been riding in, and that is where police found him when they arrived at the scene.
The first imitation $50 was passed at Drew Oil on N. Broad St., on Monday, Nov. 29. Several hours later, another fake $50 was passed at Subway.
The incident at Murphy USA was the third report, and was followed by two more cases at Cairo Mart on Fourth Street Southwest. A customer who tried to pass one left the store when confronted by the clerk. A second customer waited for Cairo Police to arrive at the scene when he was told the $50 he was trying to spend was fake. Both customers told police they got the bills from someone else. Police contacted that person and all were interviewed at the Cairo Police Department.
The sixth case happened the next evening on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Susie Qs on 38th Boulevard Northeast. A man attempted to use the counterfeit $50 to buy cigarettes and a soda, but the clerk used a special pen, realized it was fake and called 911.
Police Chief Sandefur says he suspects the $50 bills were made using a color copier, and many had the same serial number. He urges businesses to buy the special counterfeit pens, and to learn how to look for security features found on real cash. “On a copied bill, none of these security features will come through or show,” Sandefur says.