Albany police investigate counterfeit money scam

ALBANY -- Police are still searching for a group of young black males who were passing fake $20 bills at Kitty's Flea Market on the 3300 block of Sylvester Road Saturday said Capt. Jimmy Sexton of the Dougherty County Police Department.

"An officer was dispatched to the flea market after receiving information about a group of young men passing counterfeit currency," he said.

Sexton said a group of five to seven black males ranging in ages between 15-17 years old were giving vendors fake $20 bills throughout the flea market.

He said a concerned citizen from Sylvester followed the group after they climbed into a black 2004 Dodge Caliber and started to drive away.

"He was following the suspects as they were driving away and speaking to dispatchers," said Sexton.

He said investigators believe that the suspects realized they were being followed and tried to flee the scene in the process striking another vehicle.

Sexton said that after striking the other vehicle the suspects continued to flee and were gone when officers arrived on scene. There were no reported injuries to passengers in the other vehicle.

"We later recovered the vehicle at David Smith Autoland (on East Oglethorpe Boulevard)," he said.

Sexton said that police were also able to recover one of the counterfeit bills the juveniles had given to vendors.

The officer said other specific details from the case were forthcoming as the investigators continue their investigation.

Counterfeit bills have been circulating throughout Albany the past few weeks, notably fake $20 bills.

The Albany Police Department have also been investigating several fraud cases involving counterfeit bills.

Police officials warn local businesses and consumers to look carefully at bills received. Bills should be checked for watermarks and security strips embedded to the left of Andrew Jackson's face, which are visible when held up to the light. Also, the most recent $20 bills are printed with the number 20 in the lower right-hand corner of the bill in color-changing ink. Bills can also be checked with a counterfeit bank note pen.