Fake $50 bills passed at three Warren businesses

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published February 9, 2018

WARREN — Two women could face charges while an investigation continues into a spate of purchases allegedly made with counterfeit $50 bills at businesses near Nine Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue earlier this month.

Detective Sgt. Robert Eidt, of the Warren Police Department, said bogus $50 bills were allegedly passed at three locations by two women Feb. 3-4.

The first incident was reported at Burger King on Van Dyke at Nine Mile, where a woman ordered a small amount of food and attempted to pay for it with an alleged phony $50 bill at about 11 a.m. Feb. 3.

“The worker was suspicious, thought it was probably a counterfeit bill,” Eidt said. “They informed the driver, who then became angry and asked for the money back.”

The woman reportedly left in a purple sedan without the cash or food.

The next day, a different woman reportedly used a bad $50 note to pay for a $2.50 beer at Hot Shots bar on Van Dyke, just south of Nine Mile.

“She orders the beer. She’s given $47.50 in change,” Eidt said. “(The suspect) then tries to order another beer later and pay again with a $50 bill. The bartender said she couldn’t make change. She went back and looked at the first $50, thought that was strange. That’s when they discovered it was counterfeit.”

The woman reportedly left the bar before she could be confronted by employees.

Eidt said the third incident was reported at the Alibi Bar on Nine Mile, west of Van Dyke, where both women allegedly ordered beers, paid a $9 tab with a bad $50 bill and were given $41 in real cash as change.  

“They left the business. The business checked the $50 and found it to be counterfeit,” Eidt said.

The women were observed leaving the area, and police stopped them a short distance away. They were reportedly taken into custody on outstanding warrants and could face additional charges based on the outcome of the counterfeit money investigation.

The close proximity of the three incidents in time and location, and the descriptions of the suspects provided by witnesses, led police to believe the cases were related.

Information about counterfeit currency is routinely submitted to the U.S. Secret Service for possible investigation, but it was unclear at press time if any additional action would be taken by federal investigators.