February 29, 2012 10:30:00 AM
David Miller -
STARKVILLE -- Since the beginning of the month, the Starkville Police Department has had nearly 10 incidents of counterfeit bills passed at city businesses.
The SPD, with help from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office and Secret Service, hopes to identify the source soon and make an arrest for the phony $20 bills that are being circulated.
Until then, the SPD is urging local merchants to be on the lookout. SPD Detective Scotty Carrithers fears there are more bills that have circulated undetected.
"We want our business owners to start looking closer to these bills, not just the 20s, but all bills," Carrithers said. "Right now, we're averaging about two calls per week. But I feel there are some that aren't recognized."
Carrithers said some of the bills have been different in shape, while several have had duplicate serial numbers.
"It's always difficult to track it down because you have to track down how it's passed, from hand to hand," Carrithers said. "You have to backtrack where that bill has been. It makes it even harder because nobody really pays close attention to the money they have in their pocket."
Carrithers said the counterfeit bills have been passed at Family Dollar, Walmart and several fast food restaurants.
If merchants have questions, they can contact the Starkville Police Department at 662-323-4134 or call their banks.