MCDONOUGH, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - He’s not old enough to drive but a 13-year-old has been connected to more counterfeiting cases than his young age. McDonough Police and other agencies have now identified the alleged teen counterfeiter and are working to put him in juvenile detention before he strikes again.
One of the victims was Sandra Gray who works at Bondo’s Wings in McDonough. When she swiped a counterfeit detection pen on a hundred-dollar bill handed to her by a young man and it didn’t turn black she didn’t think anything was wrong with the bill. She said she knew something was wrong when he got change back and left without his food.
“He never came back for it and I knew then something wasn’t right,” said Gray.
Detective T.F. Spangenberg, with the McDonough Police Department, told FOX 5 News the funny money was bleached dollar bills printed into phony hundred dollar bills.
“It’s testing positive for money, a real bill, it’s just not a hundred-dollar bill. The denomination is a one-dollar bill,” said Detective Spangenberg.
He said more than 20 bogus Benjamin’s have turned up in restaurants, stores and other businesses in Locust Grove, Henry County, McDonough, Conyers and Clayton County. But there is a glaring flaw.
“We know at least 16, that have the same serial numbers, that have the same numbers, I believe the one in Conyers had the same serial number also,” said Detective Spangenberg.
The counterfeit culprit is not old enough to drive.
“He’s 13, says what to you? That he’s not doing this by himself,” said Detective Spangenberg.
McDonough Police and other agencies are releasing the teen's pictures to see if other victims may step forward. They’re also searching for the adult, presumably the driver involved in the many counterfeit cases.
“It’s sad that an adult instead of being a mentor or somebody that he could learn right from wrong from is actually learning wrong,” said Donna Bond, the owner of Bondo’s Wings.
Investigators said the 13-year-old, whose name is not being released, was arrested after attempting to pass bad hundreds at Tanger Outlet in Locust Grove. Detective Spangenberg said the teen is in the custody of his mother because individually each case did not meet arrest standards for a juvenile. But collectively is a different matter.
“With all these cases that are going to be filed against him it should be enough to have him detained,” said Detective Spangenberg.
The owner of Bondo’s Wings told FOX 5 News they have upgraded security around the detection of bogus bills.
She also said they discovered their counterfeit $100 was bogus when a customer who works at a nearby bank took a closer look at it.