Posted at: 09/13/2012 6:35 PM
Updated at: 09/13/2012 6:41 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Police Make Headway in Counterfeiting Problem
(ABC 6 News) -- Police are one step closer to solving the counterfeiting problem in Southeast Minnesota after arresting two men found with 56 counterfeit $20 bills.
These fake 20’s have been popping up all over the place over the last few weeks. Fooling many banks and businesses in the area.
Rochester Police arrested two men they think were partially behind it.
"You can clearly see the margins down here is much wider than the margin on top," Brian Winters explains.
For Rochester Police Captain Brian Winters, the day you catch two possible counterfeiters in your city is a very good day.
But that doesn't mean that the problem is over.
"At this particular point we've not been able to determine the manufacturing source," Winters explains.
What they did find was 56 counterfeit 20’s found in two hotel rooms and a car. Both rooms were registered with two Rochester men, Loc Phan and Panh Thavong.
"Just so happened to have outstanding warrants from different jurisdictions and or Olmsted County. They're being held on those warrants as we develop our case further," Winters says.
The bills have been turning up all over the place. Five businesses came across them in the last few weeks alone.
A bank in Byron, the Byron McDonald's, 3-D's Bar, and the North Taco Bell and Super America in Rochester.
They've also been spotted in Austin and Albert Lea.
In talking with a few of the business owners who came across these counterfeit bills, they say the look and feel of them is pretty spot on.
However, when you take a closer look at them there's a few things you can easily pick out.
"It's hard to find paper that feels like U.S currency. So they cut corners and that's really where you get the differences in the bills," says Captain Winters.
Since the paper is different, the classic black marker test is the perfect way to spot a fake. Plus you can always check for the presidential watermark or the magnetic strip.
The last thing to keep in mind is that most of the bills recovered so far, all had the same serial number.
So if you come across more than one with the same number, chances are they're fake. If you happen to come across a bill that doesn't quite look right, don't take it.
Anyone who has a counterfeit bill will not be reimbursed by the police department or the government.