GRANT, Ala. -- Law enforcement officials in Marshall County are looking for a woman suspected of passing more than $1,000 in counterfeit money in Grant. They're also looking for the man who was with her.
"About seven o'clock Monday night two individuals went into a local store," said Grant Police Chief Mike Burgess.
The department was able to pull surveillance video from the store, which was a Dollar General. "The female walked up to the counter and presented 22 50 dollar bills. Of those 22 bills, 11 of them had one serial number, and the other 11 had another serial number; so of the 22 bills there were only two serial numbers involved," explained Burgess.
Burgess added that indicates they all came from the same place at the same time. "It's not something that they accidentally got."
Burgess said the woman had the money put on a prepaid card. The video shows the man standing behind the woman while she makes the transaction.
A clerk alerted police later on to the fake bills when an employee from the store deposited the cash. Officials ran the money through a detection device and concluded they were all counterfeit.
The Grant Police Department and the Marshall County Sheriff's Office are working on this case. "Hopefully we can get these individuals identified and linked back to, and find out where they're getting these counterfeits from; if they're included in the manufacturing of them or if they're just part of the team that's passing them," Burgess said.
The bills were turned over to the Secret Service for testing. Burgess says they were freshly printed.
If you have any information on the case, call the Grant Police Department at (256) 505-7740, or the Marshall County Sheriff's Office at (256) 582-2034.
Officers say counterfeit money is a widespread issue. Just recently Arab Police officers investigated several cases of their own.
The Grant Police Department wants the public to know what to look for to catch it. Burgess says there are things to look for when it comes to counterfeit bills. "The holographic images in the bills, the security strips, the microprinting, there are several little things that you can detect there."
You may know the pen trick, but sometimes it doesn't work. Authorities say that's because some counterfeiters bleach out real money and reprint a higher amount on that same bill. "When you mark on them with a pen it doesn't necessarily detect because the paper is legitimate," Burgess explained.
There's another fairly inexpensive device that's fool-proof. "It has two different light sources on it. A white light and what most people refer to as a black light. You can see the holographic image is really clear on the bill. If you then switch to a black light you can see, and it'll show you on the device what to look for, you'll see the hidden script inside the money as well as the microprinting," Burgess said.
He added you can get one at an office supply store. A flashlight with the same light sources works too.
If you notice someone passing counterfeit money or you suspect it, there are some things officers want you to do, but the number one thing is to keep yourself safe. "Secure your drawer. Step back from the counter where they can't reach across and grab you or take the bills and contact the local police immediately," Burgess said.
Here are more resources on how to identify counterfeit money: