Counterfeiters passing bills in Lexington, say police

The Lexington Police Department is warning businesses in the Town of Lexington of a series of incidents in which counterfeit currency was passed as payment in an effort to collect change.

Beginning in early June, according to Police Chief Terrence Green,  and continuing into August, officers have responded to approximately two dozen incidents where counterfeit currency was used as payment at businesses.

In the incidents counterfeit currency in $50 and $100 denominations was used as payment in purchasing an item typically costing less than $5. The purpose, police said,  of using counterfeit money was to collect legitimate U.S. currency as change during each transaction.

The subjects involved in these cases have been primarily black males and females of various ages and descriptions with a white male and female involved in several incidents as well. Investigators continue to work with local businesses in collecting video and images of the subjects involved.

Cashiers at Lexington businesses are asked to be aware and to check if currency is counterfeit during a transaction, especially if someone pays with a $50 or $100 bill. Cashiers are asked to look for security features that are present on printed U.S. currency which include color shifting ink, raised and detailed printing, watermarks, and security thread and ribbons.

Please note that many of the counterfeit bills seized as part of these investigations have passed the detection marker test but do not have any additional security features of legitimate U.S. currency.

If you believe counterfeit currency was used during a transaction, do not give the counterfeit currency back to the subject, be a good witness and note the subjects and vehicle involved including the license plate, and contact the Lexington Police Department immediately at 803-359- 6260.

If anyone has any information on the identity of the persons involved in these crimes, they are urged to contact the Lexington Police Department at 803-359- 6260 or Crimestoppers at 1-888- CRIME SC.

The public can also text or email a tip to Crimestoppers at www.midlandscrimestoppers.com/. Tips that lead to the arrest of suspects, as well as the recovery of stolen property and drugs are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000, which are paid to tipsters on an anonymous basis.

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