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Police looking for two people suspected of passing counterfeit bills in San Luis Obispo

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Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 13, 2023

San Luis Obispo police are looking for two people believed to have used fake $100 bills at some downtown businesses.

Police say the counterfeit bills were passed at a downtown San Luis Obispo boutique and at a cafe on July 5.

“The cashier that was working that day thought the bill looked a little bit funny,” said Anthony Loyaa, Bliss Cafe co-owner and partner.

“If someone comes in to purchase two smoothies, in this case, and they’re using a $100 bill, it could be legit but also it should be a red flag,” said Sgt. Caleb Kemp, San Luis Obispo Police Department Detective Bureau.

Loyaa says the cashier had a weird feeling about the bill and showed it to the general manager.

“She took it to the bank and the bank confirmed the $100 bill was counterfeit,” Loyaa said. “From there we checked the camera and made the police report."

“We live in a time of digital currency and most people make small purchases using a debit or credit card,” Sgt. Kemp said.

He says it's important for businesses to educate employees on what to look for in these situations and to get the police involved as quickly as possible.

“Watermarks, there’s micro printing on every bill that should coincide with that bill. Using an alternative light source like a UV light, you’ll see different markings that aren’t visible to the naked eye,” Kemp said.

He says catching fraud in a timely manner is important.

“If you have gloves, use gloves, put it in an envelope, wait for the police to arrive and try to preserve any video evidence,” Kemp added.

To educate yourself and keep your business safe, information about how to spot fraudulent money can be found on uscurrency.gov.

If you have any information about the counterfeit money passed in downtown San Luis Obispo on July 5, call the San Luis Obispo Police Department at (805) 595-8067.