SEASIDE - Police in Seaside are working with Astoria Police and the Pacific County, Washington Sheriff's Office to track down a possible counterfeit money suspect.
Authorities are looking for Janelle Wold, 31, who has an address in Seaside and possible addresses in Pacific County.
Police are looking for Wold after receiving two reports of someone attempting to pass counterfeit bills at two Astoria businesses Monday, Aug. 15.
One of the incidents occurred at the Astoria Mini Mart where a woman attempted to use a $100 bill to make a purchase.
"The employees saw that it was not a legit bill," said Brad Johnson, Astoria deputy police chief. "The woman then paid for the purchase in 20's that appeared to be good bills."
The second case occurred at the Astoria Burger King. An employee reported that a woman tried to pass a bogus $50 bill at the restaurant.
"The employee gave the bill back to the person and said they knew it was not a legit bill. She then gave a credit card and photo identification to the cashier to pay for her purchase," he said.
Astoria Police obtained a copy of the woman's identification and consider Wold a suspect in both the Astoria cases.
"This person may or may not be linked to the counterfeit bills we have seen in Seaside in the past few weeks," said Bob Gross, Seaside police chief.
Seaside Police issued an alert to merchants a few weeks ago about someone passing counterfeit $50 bills.
"These latest bills in our cases are of very poor quality," said Johnston. "That's how the clerks were able to identify them as not legit bills."
"We also took in a counterfeit $50 bill during our rummage sale," said Marilyn Falker, with the Seaside American Legion Auxiliary. "But we didn't know it was counterfeit until after our sale on Monday Aug. 8 when the bank discovered it."
Falker said the money collected through the rummage sale goes to the veterans at rehab centers that don't have family and can't afford to buy food or other necessities.
A portion is also donated to the vets that do have families so that they can buy Christmas presents for their families.
"We usually raise around $1,000, but this time because of the economy we raised about $800 less the counterfeit 50 dollars," said Falker. "Having someone take advantage like that and losing that $50 breaks our heart."
At least two other bogus $50 bills have surfaced at Seaside businesses. No arrests have been made and police have not been able to develop a firm suspect description.
"In many cases the suspect or suspects usually pick a busy weekend to pass the counterfeit bills knowing that most employees are busy and often don't take time to carefully examine the larger bills they take in," Gross said. "So they have difficulty remembering who may have passed the bills.
Last summer Seaside Police arrested two suspects after a series of bogus $100 bills were passed at local retailers.
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