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Man tries to pass bogus bill

A counterfeit $100 note shows up in drug store, customer bolts before cops arrive.

November 02, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

A helicopter search for a man who tried to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at a La Cañada Flintridge drugstore came up empty Thursday afternoon.

Alejandra Cruz, a clerk at Flintridge Pharmacy, located on Foothill Boulevard near Gould Avenue, said the man tried to purchase a gift bag and a nail fungus product with a $100 bill.

Cruz said that the counterfeit bill looked real to her because it had a watermark face and a line that was visible when held to the light. But one of her co-workers believed it was counterfeit.

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“One of our employees … worked with money for a long time, so she knew a fake,” said Cruz. A scan of the bill confirmed her co-worker’s suspicion, so they stalled for time by telling the man that they were going upstairs to get change because there wasn’t enough at the register.

Cruz said that the store’s owner, Michael Stremfel, called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station while the man waited downstairs. Cruz described the man as being tall and in his 30s.

Cruz said that after about 10 minutes, the man asked for his money back because he didn’t want to wait. After she went upstairs, he ran out of the store. Shortly after, sheriff’s deputies arrived and began their search.

A patrol helicopter mobilized to locate him was unsuccessful, said Sgt. Debra Herman of the Crescenta Valley station.

“They came up with nothing. A lot of practice running around for naught,” said Herman.
 
 

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