Local crime: Counterfeit $100 bills passed in La Jolla

Counterfeit $100 bills passed

Wells Fargo Bank on Girard Avenue has confirmed that it has received reports of a handful of counterfeit $100 bills which have been circulated in the La Jolla area.

The bank would not confirm how many, or the identity.

One of the fake bills, however, turned up July 3 at Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ at 888 Prospect St.

A rash of similar incidents was recently reported in Del Mara where individuals purchased small items with counterfeit money and pocketed the change.

San Diego Police Spokeswoman Monica Munoz said counterfeit currency is reported to the federal Secret Service.

“Counterfeit bills are passed on a daily basis and our job is to find out who’s doing it with the help of local police,” said special agent William Miranda of the Secret Service’s L.A. office. “Basically, we try to follow where the phony money came from.”

Some things to look for with counterfeit currency:

  • The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background, which is often too dark or mottled.
  • On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct, and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt, or broken saw-tooth points.
  • The fine lines in the border of a genuine bill are clear and unbroken. On the counterfeit, the lines in the outer margin and scrollwork may be blurred and indistinct.
  • Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.
  • Genuine currency paper has tiny red and blue fibers embedded throughout. Often counterfeiters try to simulate these fibers by printing tiny red and blue lines on their paper. Close inspection reveals, however, that on the counterfeit note the lines are printed on the surface, not embedded in the paper. It is illegal to reproduce the distinctive paper used in the manufacturing of United States currency.

Burglary reported

In an incident on June 24, the front door window of MacGallery at 8855 Villa La Jolla Suite 402 was smashed with a rock and suspects went inside and stole several computers and an mp3 player.

“It happened sometime during the night,” said Monica Munoz, San Diego Police spokeswoman. “No one saw them and we haven’t made any arrests in this case.”

Aggravated assault

An incident involving aggravated assault was reported in Bird Rock on June 24 at 5460 La Jolla Hermosa at about 9 a.m.

“It was a fight among friends,” said Monica Munoz, police spokeswoman. “One woman hit the other with a bottle. The one hit with the bottle went to the hospital with a gash on her head. No arrests were made and none are anticipated.”

Munoz added the woman who was hit with the bottle was evidently threatening the woman who hit her, and police are considering it as a self-defense act.