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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Police Searching For Man Passing Counterfeit $50 Bills

Carolina Beach Police Searching For Man Passing Counterfeit $50 Bills

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Take a closer look at fifty-dollar bills, someone's trying to pass counterfeit bills in Carolina Beach and Wilmington. One bill was passed while the editor (me) was standing in line at the Sea Merchants Grocery Store last week on December 28th.
The unknown young man attempted to buy some potato chips and other small items with a $50 bill. The cashier marked the bill with a counterfeit verification pen. Instead of leaving no mark on the bill, the ink turned dark indicating the bill was fake.
After asking another cashier how to handle the situation, she told the young man she could not accept it and could not give it back to him.
He quietly placed the bag of items on the counter and walked out without saying a word or turning around and walked down Cape Fear Blvd. 
He was short, around 5' 5" tall, a little overweight with messy shoulder length dark brown hair wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. He appeared to be in his later teens or early twenties.
The same night he unsuccessfully tried to pass the fake bill at Sea Merchants, he managed to use another fake $50 bill at the Scotchman Gas Station at 808 S. Lake Park Blvd.
According to the police report, a white male 16-18 years of age purchased two Monster Energy drinks. The clerk said he paid with a $50 bill. She marked the bill to check it wasn't counterfeit and it marked yellow and she accepted it.  She gave the subject the correct change and moved on to the next customer in line. The guy left the store and walked away headed south.
After waiting on other customers, the clerk looked at the $50 bill and noticed the yellow mark had changed to a dark mark. A different customer came in shortly afterwards and handed in what appeared to be a cut up $50 bill found in the parking lot. The serial numbers of both bills matched.
The clerk said the subject "frequented the store."
Police are waiting for video from the store to help identify the subject.
Police received several reports of similar situations in Carolina Beach and Wilmington.
The bill he tried to use at Sea Merchants was clearly a fake. The ink and paper seemed out of the ordinary and there was no micro-strip embedded in the paper.
Also, there was no "ghost" image or watermark of a face to one side of the bill.
Federal counterfeiting law provides for a fine of up to $250,000 and a prison sentence of up to twenty years for the counterfeiting of U.S. obligations and securities. Such cases are typically handled by the U.S. Secret Service.
If anyone has information about this case, please contact the Carolina Beach Police Department at 910-458-1246. Anonymous tips are welcome.

To learn more about currency and how to identify real and fake notes, click here...