An alert employee sent a suspect fleeing after spotting a fake $100 bill Sept. 1.
Oak Bay police say the employee recognized the fake money immediately and called the police while the suspect was in the store. The woman fled and was not found.
She is described as a Caucasian female, 40 years old, five-foot-six and heavy set with burgundy hair with “bad highlights.” She wore a pink and black jacket.
The $100 bills being passed are readily identified as being counterfeit when looked at closely. It appears that the culprits are cutting the transparent security features off $10 bills and taping them to laser printed fake $100 bills, police say.
The transparent security features include the number of the denomination they originate from.
In the case of the counterfeit notes being passed in Oak Bay, the transparent strip contains the number 10 and not 100. A close look also shows lines of the tape, instead of a clean manufacture of a genuine note and John A. MacDonald is visible as opposed to Robert Borden.
In August, two local businesses turned over counterfeit Canadian $50 dollar bills to Oak Bay police. In late July, police reported a $100 counterfeit bill used at the Cork & Barrel Liquor Store in Athlone Court. In that case, police were looking for a female suspect described as in her 40s, five-foot, five-inches tall, 180 pounds, with long, dark hair and a pock-marked face.
Oak Bay Police Reserve Officers plan to canvass Oak Bay businesses over the next couple of weeks with counterfeit detection education kits to remind merchants how best to help police identify and charge people suspected of passing counterfeit notes.