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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:20 a.m., Thursday, May 16, 2002

Clerk, cop bust pair with counterfeit cash

By Vicki Viotti
Advertiser Staff Writer

Just try to make crime pay with a cop standing right behind you.

On second thought, that might be showing more bravado than sense. A couple of midnight shoppers tried that and landed in the lockup this morning, accused of trying to pass three identical fake bills right in front of the uniformed police officer in line at the convenience store.

Actually, police had little more to do than apply the handcuffs to the two Pawa'a men outside their neighborhood 7-Eleven store, 1323 Kalakaua Ave. The female cashier on duty at 12:19 a.m. made the bust when one suspect allegedly tried to buy some Diet Coke and $5 of gas, using one counterfeit $10 bill after another.

Detectives described all three bills as discolored and bearing identical serial numbers. The cashier immediately fingered the first bill as a fake, police said; she confirmed that by marking it with counterfeit-detection ink that turns black when applied to phony currency.

The suspect retreated outside, police said, and allegedly reappeared with the second bill, which was rejected the same way. Police said he held up the third bill but then walked out toward the car where the second suspect, his 41-year-old roommate, was waiting.

The officer in line reported that he followed him outside and heard the younger man blame the older one for providing the counterfeit cash.

First-degree forgery charges were pending against both men this morning.