Counterfeit bills hit Rifle and New Castle |

Counterfeit bills hit Rifle and New Castle

Police in Rifle and New Castle report counterfeit $10 and $20 bills have circulated in their towns since Dec. 12. The most recent bill was found in Rifle on Jan. 5.

“If I were a business owner, I’d look at my tens and twenties pretty closely,” said Rifle police chief Daryl Meisner.

The counterfeit bills found in New Castle were pretty good quality, although they have a bluish hue and are ragged around the edges.

“I can see why people took them,” said New Castle police chief Chris Sadler.

Meisner doesn’t give the bills such a good review. For one thing, the bills don’t have the identification strip that runs vertically up and down the bill’s end.

“That’s the first tip-off,” he said. “And the paper is pretty bad.”

Meisner said since Dec. 12, businesses have turned in 13 of the phony bills.

“Counterfeit bills are like mice,” Meisner said. “If you see one, you know there are more.”

Most of the bills in Rifle were spotted in banks or by retail store clerks.

Meisner has reported the counterfeit bills’ serial numbers to the U.S. Secret Service for possible investigation, but doesn’t think the case is big enough for them to get involved.

It’s not all that unusual for counterfeit money to turn up in Rifle, Meisner said. One reason is the town’s proximity to Interstate 70, which carries traffic from across the United States.

In New Castle, Alpine Bank employees turned in four counterfeit $20 bills on Dec. 16, and City Market turned in a $50 bill on Dec. 30, Sadler said. Counterfeiting is rare in New Castle, he said.

“I can’t remember a case here,” Sadler said. “We don’t have any suspects, and don’t have any leads to follow.”

The flow of counterfeit currency seems to have missed Glenwood Springs.

“We’ve had a couple of reports in the past two months, but there’s not a big rash,” said Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson. “It’s not uncommon for us to get three or four or five bills a year.”

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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