Cash con going on in East Texas

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A cash con is going on in Tyler. Police say, since April, they've seen more and more counterfeit $20 bills popping up, especially on the east side of town. But Tuesday night, officers may have caught a major break.

With plenty of bling around his neck and on his hat, and plenty of fake bills, a surveillance video caught a suspect reaching into his sock for five counterfeit 20's.

"They're going to be preying on whoever they can prey on and they gotta do it when they're open," said Detective Royce Jordan, with the Tyler PD. "His idea is to transfer that counterfeit money over into a money order."

But the suspect was not alone. Police told us about another suspect.

"When they feel comfortable about passing particular money, they're going to keep doing it," said Jordan.

Police say they're already too comfortable. Nearly half-a-dozen fast food restaurants and convenience stores have already handled the fake bills. Authorities say the majority are all in the Beckham/East Fifth Street area, stretching toward the East Loop. Counterfeit 20's have also popped up near south Broadway and the Loop. It was a Texaco Food Fast's surveillance camera that caught the two on tape.

"They'll have a real busy clerk, or they'll have somebody that they think is an easy pass...and they're going to target these people," he said.

But they won't trick one clerk.

"The first thing she noticed was texture of the money," said Jordan.

You can see her on the phone with police as soon as the suspects leave. These 20's looked good, one even felt good, but they were all fake, with no water marks. And, like the ones the suspect handed the clerk, the serial numbers are exactly the same.

"Fraud, whether it be credit cards, whether it be counterfeit, whether it be forgery, counterfeited checks, it runs in the billions," said Jordan. "Who that effects is the consumer."

The goal now is to pocket the cash permanently and put the suspects behind bars. Tyler police are looking for at least two black males in their early teens, to late 20's. They were seen driving a late 80's to early 90's blue Chevy pick-up.

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