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Police foil attempts to cash in with fake money

There is no such thing as a free lunch, or purchase, as four Aucklanders found out in recent days.

Police responded quickly to reports that attempts had been made at using counterfeit bank notes at businesses in the region.

Retailers were quick to report these incidents, with Police following up and making arrests.

• Three arrested in northern Auckland:

Police took three people into custody on Thursday, following complaints from retailers in Warkworth and Ōrewa.

Waitematā North Area Prevention Manager, Senior Sergeant Roger Small, says forged bank notes had allegedly been handed to staff, with legitimate currency being handed over as change.

“All were sitting in the same parked vehicle in Warkworth, which we had identified as a vehicle of interest connected to earlier offending.

“Of the five people in the vehicle, three were identified as having allegedly used counterfeit bills.

“One occupant had twelve hundred dollars’ worth of fake notes hidden in her under garments.”

A 37-year-old man is scheduled to appear in the North Shore District Court today charged with possessing a forged banknote and using a forged document.

Charges are pending for two women, aged 33 and 25.

• Arrest after alleged theft in east Auckland:

One man’s attempt to use a counterfeit bill led to a theft and fleeing driver incident on Thursday.

At around 11.16am, Police were notified of a theft from a store in Whiteacres Drive in Sunnyhills.

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Counties Manukau East Area Commander, Inspector Rod Honan, says a man had allegedly attempted to pay for tobacco products with a counterfeit note.

“The shop worker recognised the bill as a fake and refused to accept it.

“The offender has then stolen the tobacco products and fled in a vehicle.”

Police were soon notified of the incident and began to make follow up enquiries at a nearby address in Pakuranga.

“Our staff were checking the registered owner’s address, when the vehicle in question arrived on scene,” Inspector Honan says.

“We signalled for the driver to stop but he took off at speed, and we decided not to pursue due to the manner of driving.

“The Police Eagle helicopter was able to locate this vehicle and direct Police staff to it in Māngere, who took a 33-year-old male into custody in without further incident.

“We also found a firearm in the back of this vehicle,” Inspector Honan says.

The man is scheduled to appear in the Manukau District Court today charged with unlawfully carrying or possessing a firearm, restricted weapon or explosives and failing to remain stopped for an enforcement officer.

• How do you spot a fake?

Police encourage anyone who has been given counterfeit banknotes to report the incident to Police as soon as possible.

If you believe someone is trying to pass you a counterfeit note, do not accept it.

If you find you’ve already received a counterfeit note, put it in an envelope to avoid handling it further and get in touch with Police.

You can phone Police on 105, or you can also give information anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Where possible, Police seek footage of persons using or attempting to use counterfeit currency so please include footage and still images when reporting to Police online.

It is important that businesses involved in handling money are aware of security features within New Zealand bank notes.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has clear guides outlining security features of New Zealand bank notes and how to spot counterfeit notes, including a downloadable PDF quick guide, on their website.

Security features are the same on all denominations.

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