An Indianapolis woman was arrested after using counterfeit money at businesses in Charleston and Mattoon, Ill, and police are warning business owners that these types of crimes are on the rise.
Mattoon Police arrested Cherith L. Hadnott, 24, for four counts of forgery. They allege she used counterfeit $100 bills at three Mattoon business, receiving real money as change. Her attempt at a fourth business was unsuccessful.
Hadnott will also face charges for similar crimes committed in Charleston, Ill.
Hadnott is currently in custody at the Coles County Jail.
The Mattoon Police Department released a public service announcement following the incident asking businesses to remain vigilant about the issue of counterfeit currency.
The department has already investigated a number of such crimes this year.
Businesses who receive currency that seems suspicious or does not pass the pen/mark test are urged to contact the police immediately. Authorities said businesses should hold any suspicious currency for police to investigate, and should not provide change.
“Anyone passing suspicious currency can be advised they are more than welcome to await police arrival for their currency to be investigated,” the Mattoon PD said in a statement.
Should the person choose not to wait for police, authorities encouraged business owners to get a description of the vehicle and a license plate number if possible.
The most recent incidents have all been counterfeit $100 bills, but smaller denominations should not be overlooked, according to authorities.
Police said to especially be aware of anyone attempting to use large bills to purchase small value items.
Suspects in these crimes tend to be travelers, according to police. The most recent cases have involved male and female suspects traveling from both Chicago and Indianapolis.