May 2, 2016

SCPD Officers follow counterfeit trail & arrest two subjects using phony money.

Early Sunday afternoon, an SCPD Officer responded to a local restaurant for a report of two women who passed off a counterfeit $20.00 bill. They were in the process of another cash transaction when the employee suspected that the money was fake. The two women ran away to a waiting car and drove away.

A few hours later, another SCPD Officer responded to the same type of call at another business in the City of Santa Cruz. Perfect timing because our SCPD Officers had  just finished a meeting detailing the first counterfeit call from earlier in the day. The women were caught in the act and detained at the local business . Ajani Laws, 18 years old from Pittsburg , CA and a female juvenile, 17 years old from Oakly, Ca were arrested for counterfeiting, exchanging counterfeit money and conspiracy to commit a crime.

          Ajani Laws, 18 years old from Pittsburg , CA

                                        Female juvenile, 17 years old from Oakley, CA 

Although these two were caught and arrested, they were in the company of a carload of visitors from the Bay Area visiting Santa Cruz.

The female juvenile was found to be in possession of
counterfeit $20.00 dollar bills amounting to hundreds of dollars. Here is how the scam worked – the suspect would buy a small item, give a $20.00 bill as payment and collect real money in change.
At first glance, these bills do look real. SCPD encourages the public and the business community to carefully examine the money you receive, especially larger denomination bills. Most counterfeit bills when examined closely are identifiable as counterfeit just by the poor quality of printing and misshaped or missing treasury seals. An easy way to check is the use of a Counterfeit Detector Pen.

SCPD believes there may be counterfeit bills still in circulation from these suspect's activity. If you encounter money that you suspect is phony, please report it by calling SCPD.