Phony money trail leads police westward

Cpl. Darrell Laster is a detective for the Albany Police Department. / Jessica Fairley

Albany police investigators are asking for the public's help locating and identifying suspects who've been passing around counterfeit bills in Albany.

Authorities handled five separate cases on Tuesday.

The trail of counterfeit bills spreads across the city of Albany. Those passing off the fake $20's went to the Wynnsong Carmike Cinemas, Ruby Tuesday, Jaxx Liquor Store, Flash Foods convenience store, and McDonalds.

Most of the money has been circulating on the north and west side of town.

"There have been reports of bills on the east side but not as many as on the west side," says Cpl. Darrell Laster, APD Detective.

Detective Laster is stresses that merchants be proactive about identifying their cash as soon as they get it in their hands.

One way to determine whether a $20 bill is counterfeit or not is to hold up the bill and in the lower right hand corner, the 20 should appear as gold but as you rotate it back it will turn green.

On the $100 bill the 100 will go from green to black.

One of the merchants whose store has fallen victim to the counterfeit thieves says when he's there; he makes sure to check each bill.

"If money is in doubt about being real, we'll hold it up to the light and look for the water mark of the picture of the man in the center. The same face here should be right over here (to the right)," says Ceasil Moore, Jaxx Liquor Store Night Manager.

Moore also uses the scratch test to see if there are ridges on each bill.

"The counterfeit pen is also a good tool to use but don't just rely on that pen alone. Also take time out to view the bill under some light," says Darrell Laster.

More than $200 in forged bills has been recovered by authorities.

Several suspects have been questioned and police are following all leads in the case.

Anyone with information on a possible suspect is asked to call the Albany Police Department.