SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Police Department has intercepted three counterfeit bills in the last week. According to a press release from the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, one $20 bill and one $10 bill were passed to local businesses Aug. 15 and 16. A third bill in a $50 denomination was reported Monday night.
Sheridan Police Lt. Chris Dahmke said police are still looking into the source of the fake currency.
“There’s a chance as good as any that someone here generated it,” he said. “We haven’t had a large-scale counterfeit activity here in Sheridan. We usually don’t get that many fake bills.”
Dahmke added that in the past, the department has been successful in tracing the fake money back to its origin.
He said last week’s counterfeit $20 bill was passed at the Ship and Pack store on Sugarland Drive. The owner was suspicious of the bill and tested it with an indicator pen, which proved the bill to be a fake.
Monday night’s $50 bill was brought to the police station by a member of the community who said the bill was spent at a restaurant.
The Chamber of Commerce said Friday additional counterfeit bills may be in circulation within the county, and money handlers should be vigilant for phony money.
The two bills that have surfaced have slightly uneven borders, are slightly smaller than real currency and lack a security strip when held up to the light.
Dahmke said bills can be copied relatively easily, as microprinting technology available to the public on many photo printers makes duplication of some bills easier, but newer bills have multi-color, metallic print that’s harder to imitate.
The telltale element in a phony bill, he said, is the paper itself.
“Real money is actually printed on a type of cloth,” he said. “If you look very closely at a $20 bill, you can see the fibers.”
The $20 bill intercepted by the SPD bears the mark of being checked three times with a counterfeit pen.
Dahmke said it’s unclear whether the marks were made by the business owner who ultimately outed the fraudulent bill or if it was checked by previous businesses that did not recognize what the mark signified.
The bills suspected to be fake will be sent to an outside agency for confirmation. Dahmke said detectives are still investigating each case involving the suspect money and more information will be released when it becomes available.