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Thieves passing counterfeit cash in Berks County

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Dec 05 2012 04:37:42 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 05 2012 05:29:15 PM CST

Counterfeit cash being passed in Berks

AMITY TWP., Pa. -

It's Christmas time, but instead of a season of giving thieves are making it a season of taking.

A small business owner in Amity Township recently received a phony $100 bill. And she said it wasn't the first time she's been scammed.

Gently Used Books only takes small bills. And the owner, Ramona DeWalt, said customers understand.

"Especially if you say to them we've gotten stung twice with bad hundreds," said DeWalt.

DeWalt said last year the woman who handed the clerk a phony $100 bill didn't take her time taking in all the titles.

"She was in a hurry," said DeWalt. "She came in, went to the kids room and almost immediately was back out again saying I found just the two books my daughter wanted. It was like nine dollars worth of books."

DeWalt said the clerk who took the phony bill was very upset.

"She said the look she gave me was you say anything about this and I'm going to create a scene. She was very intimidating. I said that's how they operate," said DeWalt.

DeWalt said she doesn't know if the person who used the fake hundred last week bought something from the children's section like before. But she said the cashiers gave a similar description of what happened.

"Again there was a line behind her so there was pressure to move quickly," said DeWalt. "And he hesitated. And then he said she looked at me like I'll create a scene."

Amity Township Police Chief Kent Shuebrook said during the holiday season thieves take advantage.

"But you get an inexperienced clerk and inexperienced cashier, they're in a hurry, big line. They're trying to move it along. It's holiday time. The bad guys are not stupid," said Shuebrook.

Shuebrook said the Secret Service took over the investigations into the fake c-notes.

DeWalt said at Gently Used Books they may have 100,000 books, but they won't take anything bigger than a $20 bill.