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      Counterfeit $100 bills circulate in Columbia

      Columbia police investigators are looking for the person or persons who have been passing around some counterfeit $100 bills.

      Detectives said six bogus bills have popped up at six various businesses scattered throughout the city.

      Thomas Burgess owns and operates the Papa Murphy Pizza Restaurant on Columbia TMs Grindstone Parkway. Someone passed a counterfeit $100 bill through his cash register on Saturday. Bank officials told Burgess of the bogus bill when he made his daily deposit. Burgess told his employees to not accept any $100 bills for now, because of the recent counterfeit money in circulation.

      Until this is cleared up, we will not be accepting one-hundred dollar bills," Burgess said. "My understanding is this is a widespread problem throughout the city.

      The counterfeit $100 bills have appeared at six Columbia businesses including the Dairy Queen on Forum, the Papa Murphy TMs on Grindstone, the One Dollar Shop next to Schnuck TMs, the Movie Gallery on West Broadway, the Radio Shack near Best Buy, and the Party America store near the old Circuit City.

      Police investigators say the counterfeit $100 bills circulating around Columbia have two major imperfections. The hologram colors on the bills do not change when you tilt them, and the bills do not pass an ultraviolet light test.

      Investigators say the $100 bills in Columbia were made by bleaching one-dollar bills and transferring images from real $100 dollar bills onto the lower currency.

      They were deposited in the banks over the weekend," Columbia Police Officer Jessie Haden said. "The banks made reports to us earlier this week. We TMve been backtracking to find out what businesses made those deposits. Right now today, we TMre actively investigating it. We TMre going back to those businesses to find out if they remember who might have passed the bills, as well as seeing if there was any surveillance footage or images of the person or persons who may have done it. Clearly, there may be more out there that we haven TMt had reported, yet.

      Some businesses owners describe the counterfeiter as a heavy-set woman under 6 feet tall. Police have not issued a suspect description.

      If you have any information about these crimes, police urge you to call Crimestoppers at 875-tips.

      The serial numbers of the bogus bills are FE33586545A and FL45263587C.