BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) – It takes a lot to surprise thepolice, but investigators at the Independence County Sheriff's Office haveencountered something they've never seen before.
They actually recovered a fake one dollar bill – the firstthey've ever seen in Batesville.
Detectives now ask local businesses, like T Mart #12 inBatesville, to check cash carefully because phony money is coming in smallerand smaller bills.
However, anyone that comes into the T Mart might want tothink twice before trying to use any counterfeit cash.
"If you're trying to pass a bill here, you're going to getbusted because we're going to know," said Manager Millie Haney. "We're going toknow. We're going to catch it."
Haney says she's trained all her employees to look for fakemoney by noticing a few tell-tale signs.
"Fake money is actually kind of waxy, or it's smeared,smudged. There are a lot of imperfections on it," she said. "You can spot itreally well if you know what you're looking for."
Haney and her cashiers even have a track record to provetheir accuracy.
"We have had some try to be passed," she said. "As soon asyou kind of question it, people will grab it and run, but it's been a couple ofyears."
Now more than ever, the Independence County Sheriff's Officehopes other businesses will be just as vigilant as the T Mart to check all thecash they receive.
"It's going to take everybody stepping up and checking andstuff because it's getting out of hand real quick," said Investigator JeffSims.
He says in the past month alone, people have tried passingoff smaller bills as real. Last week, he recovered a fake one dollar bill – theonly one he's ever seen in the area.
"The chance you take for passing a counterfeit one dollarbill of going to federal prison or being charged with a Class B felony ispretty ridiculous," Sims said.
Officers even took in a fake $10 bill on Tuesday. Thefrequency of these incidents has indicated one thing to detectives, Sims says.
"We charged a lot of people last year, probably 10 or 15that we charged with counterfeit money from hundreds to twenties and tens," hesaid. "Maybe they're going to smaller bills hoping that they won't be detectedand be checked."
He can at least count on Haney to keep checking for fakemoney.
"I'm ready," she said. "You bring it here, we're calling thepolice and we have 16 cameras. We'll get you."
Independence County investigators claim they're not the onlyones dealing with fake money problems right now. Sims says just about everysurrounding county has also taken in more reports recently about counterfeitcash.