SEQUIM — The Sequim Police Department has reported a number of fake $100 bills circulated this week.
Multiple reports came in from Sequim businesses, said Sequim Patrol Sgt. John Southard.
He said that a string of counterfeit bills were found in the city last October and November.
“There is some consistency between the two types of bills,” Southard said.
“The investigation is still fresh, so I can’t say they’re related but they may be connected.”
The recent counterfeits have been found at multiple businesses across Sequim ranging from mom and pop shops to big box stores, Southard said.
Sequim police continue to search for one suspect in one of the investigations, but no arrests have been made, he said.
“We do have a suspect, but there could be multiple people involved,” Southard said.
He said at least one merchant was victimized last year and this week.
In his 12-plus years on duty in Sequim, he said counterfeit bills have been “pretty infrequent” in the area.
Other law enforcement agencies on the North Olympic Peninsula have not reported any fraudulent bills in their jurisdictions.
Undersheriff Andy Pernsteiner with Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the office had a fraudulent claim last summer but nothing in recent months.
Both Brian King, chief criminal deputy for Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, and Michael Evans, chief of police for Port Townsend Police Department, report no instances of fake bills being circulated.
Southard said if a fake bill is discovered to call 9-1-1.
According to the U.S. Currency Education Program at www.uscurrency.gov, to help identify fake bills, people are encouraged to feel for raised print; tilt bills to see the 3-D security ribbon, color-shifting bell in the inkwell, and color-shifting numeral; see under light the security thread, UV security thread, and a watermark of Benjamin Franklin; and see microprinting on each bill.
Southard also recommends using a counterfeit detection pen on larger denominations.
He said the case is an ongoing active investigation.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].