The Secret Service and area police departments are working a case in which more than two dozen counterfeit $100 and $20 were passed at local stores in at least seven different towns.
They want people to look out for the fake bills, and they are also hoping someone can identify one of the alleged criminals who was caught on tape. Some of those counterfeit bills were passed at Doc's Country Mart, one at in Glenpool, Collinsville and Bixby, but that one was detected.
While Doc's employees were calling police, the person bolted out the door, but alert employees got a tag number and turned it and surveillance video over to police.
The store tells us the $100 bill initially passed the pen test, so they thought it was good. But once they put it under their blue light, they could tell it was missing some security features.
"With the $100 bill, you place it under the light and you can see the stripe down the middle, and it even has the pen attached and it has a light so they can also be used at the cash register,” Melinda Whipple said.
Every Doc's is now equipped with the equipment because they want to make sure they're doing everything they can to stop the circulation of fake money.
"It's frustrating,” Whipple said. “It bleeds over to the economy and also to our customers. We try to absolutely save our customers as much money as we can but when we're getting stuck with fake money, it's hard."
Tulsa Financial Crimes Detective Joe Morgan was at a Tulsa Kum and Go where fake 100s and a 20 were passed.
He said the bills pass the pen test because the counterfeiters are bleaching $ bills, then printing 100s on top of them, so the paper is authentic.
"The bills passed so far are the older 1985 series,” TPD Det. Joe Morgan said. “This is not a real good picture, but, the others are locked in the safe. But the older bills don't have the security features to identify the bill."
They want everyone to be on alert for the phony bills and appreciate the stores like Doc's doing all they can to help.
And while the Doc's employees have the high-tech tools they need, it is still a store very much entrenched in old-fashioned, traditional service values. They even still offer to carry your groceries out for you.