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Two men pass counterfeit $100 bills at North Bend hardware store

Snoqualmie Valley businesses were warned this week to inspect any large bills they receive.

North Bend's Ace Hardware accepted two counterfeit $100 bills in two separate transactions Tuesday, June 7, and the bills weren't identified as fakes until they were deposited at Sterling Savings Bank.

"Apparently, they were pretty good counterfeits," said ACE manager Chris, who declined to give his last name. He hadn't seen the bills, but said that the cashier who took them questioned their validity at first, because "they just didn't quite look right."

Store management was able to determine when the transactions occurred, and what the suspects look like. Two men, between 30 and 40 were seen paying with the bills in separate transactions, about five minutes apart. Chris said one of the men seemed nervous on the tape, and the other had a child, about 1 or 2 years old, with him.

North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner learned of the counterfeits at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, he said. His department is now distributing information to North Bend businesses about the counterfeits and a booklet on the identifying features of genuine 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. These include security threads, watermarks, and color-shifting numbers.

The department has no suspects in mind, but is gathering evidence to be forwarded on to the U.S. Secret Service if the counterfeiters are caught.

Counterfeit bills do occasionally appear in the Upper Valley but it's not frequent, Toner said. Ace receives $100 bills almost daily, but these are the first counterfeits Chris says he's seen.

To report a counterfeit bill, call the North Bend Police Department at (425) 888-4433, or the Snoqualmie Police Department at (425) 888-3333. For information on identifying legitimate bills, visit www.newmoney.gov.

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