Fake prop money making rounds in the Mentor on the Lake area

Posted at 8:44 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 20:44:22-04

Mentor on the Lake Police are warning local businesses and even customers to look closely at their dollar bills.

A total of three business were hit by crooks using fake movie prop money in Mentor on the Lake. The first case happened last month at Burrito Loco.

"We're all about customer service here and making them happy, and we didn't realize that in the meantime they're trying to take advantage of us,” said Trish Spring, Co-owner of Burrito Loco.

The bills similar at first glance, but if you look closer, the bill says “For Motion Picture Only.” Spring said it was a very busy day at Burrito Loco, when two folks walked in, raving about the food there. 

"Two people, after watching the videotape, I remember exactly what they ordered. They tried to distract us with compliments about our food. How they're here all the time, love our queso,” said Trish Spring, Co-owner of Burrito Loco.

It wasn't until after the fact; they realized that the two $20 bills they used were fake.

"My night manager put it in the deposit, and the bank called me and said 'Oh, got another one,'" she said.

Fake money was also found in the registers at the local Wendy's, and most recently, the Second Chance Thrift Store in the Mentor on the Lake location.

Despite the unfortunate incident, Spring said she's trying to remain positive, and be on alert at the same time.

"Told all the employees to make sure and check the bills, as they're coming in especially 20’s and above."

"It's not illegal for the movie production company to make it because it's marked 'For motion picture use only.' [They're] not trying to replicate the U.S. Currency,” said Lt. John Forsythe, Mentor on the Lake Police.

Lt. Forsythe said it IS illegal to use the fake money to buy things. Both businesses and consumers are asked to be the lookout.

"We're running a great business here, and just trying to serve our customers, but we're trying to be more careful though now, we're careful,” said Spring.

Police said if the criminals are caught, they could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. If the people involved are also found to be manufacturing the fake money, the charges could even result in a felony conviction.