Thieves using counterfeit cash at yard sales

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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Ind. - Thieves are hitting garage sales and pretending to be bargain hunters.  Police have received several reports this past weekend of counterfeiters using fake cash around Franklin Township.

“I was having a good day and then I got the 20 and was like really disappointed and it kind of aggravated me,” said Nikki Edwards, just one victim in her subdivision who was given a fake $20 bill at the neighborhood garage sale.

Investigators are looking to talk to anyone who knows something about the counterfeiters making their rounds.  One victim told CBS4 they gave IMPD surveillance video of a woman they believe could be involved.  The victim says the customer was very stern about spending exactly $20 and only spent a few minutes shopping around before making her purchases.  The video also shows the victim taking the money out of his pocket and taking a close look at it as the customer drives away.

“It’s still the fact that it’s ripping us off and stealing things that don’t belong to them,” Edwards said.

Just a few miles away, thieves hit another yard sale and they hit this one in big way.

“It’s not to get rich quick kind of thing but obviously he is,” said Jim Gagnon.

Just as Gagnon was about to pack it up for the evening Sunday, a man stopped by.  The customer spent a little time browsing before he bought three necklaces for $65.  Gagnon says then the shopper told him it was his child’s birthday and that his 5-year-old wanted a "big bill."

“I said I don’t have any big bills, but I can check with my wife,” Gagnon said.

The father of five ended up finding a $100 bill for the so-called birthday boy.  The customer traded him five, $20 bills for the $100.  Minutes later, Gagnon realized the customer was a counterfeiter.

“I looked and just noticed all the same serial numbers and I said oh my goodness I really got took,” Gagnon said.

The 85-year-old has some real advice to the thief who gave him the fake cash.

“I would not recommend it as a lifestyle for anyone. Get a job!”

Officials recommend anyone to purchase a counterfeiting testing marker or there are also gadgets that shine a light on the bill to show if it’s real.

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