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Feb 19, 2010 2:19 PM by James Jarman

Former Vegas card dealer spots counterfeit $100 in Canon City

Authorities are warning people in Southern Colorado to be on alert for "high quality" counterfeit money.

This week someone tried passing a fake $100 at a Canon City Checker store.  Police say the suspect tried to buy a wrench worth about $15-$20 and pay for it with a bogus $100.

The bill was actually a $5 that's been bleached and reprinted as a $100 on a high quality printer, according to Canon City Police.

But it looks like the counterfeiter walked into the wrong store at the wrong time to try to pass the fake money.

Store Manager Brett Thompson says his employee who spotted the bogus $100, and got a well deserved day off today, used to be a card dealer in Las Vegas.  He was trained to spot counterfeit money.  So, it seems by sheer luck, the counterfeiter handed the fake $100 to the wrong person.

"The wrong guy," said Thompson,  "if he (the suspect) would've came to me, I probably unfortunately would've gave him back his 80 bucks."

When you hold the fake bill up to the light you can see a water mark for a $5.  You can also see the security band that clearly states it's a $5.  Other than that the bill looks legit and even passes the "pen test" since it is a printed on real currency stock.

Canon City Police aren't sure how many of the bogus bills are being circulated around the area, but are asking people to check their wallets and purses.

"One of the things I would like people to do is check your money especially you're larger bills your 100's, your 50's, you might even want to check your 20's," said Canon City Police Captain Allen Cooper.

If you suspect you might have a counterfeit bill, Capt. Cooper says to take it to a bank or your local police department to have it checked out.

The suspect is described as an hispanic man, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.

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