Four people were arrested for using counterfeit money at food shops in West Hartford.
Police said Jason Hayle, 20, of Hartford, Shawn Michael Hayle, 21, of Hartford, Andrew Darien McLeod, 20 of Brooklyn, NY and an unnamed juvenile were charged in connection with the case.
They said they responded to the La Petite France Bakery for a report that a fake $100 bill was used by a customer.
Less than 20 minutes later, they said they received reports of the same thing happening at Ben and Jerry’s and Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery.
Police said all three stores gave similar descriptions of a primary suspect.
They said they were able to locate a vehicle with four people inside and stop it. In plain view were several items believed to have been purchased with the fake money.
Investigators determined that six businesses were victimized by the suspects.
They believe the goal was to buy low-cost items and receive legitimate money as change. A number of other counterfeit bills of different denominations were seized.
Prakash Patel, of Robeks Juice, said it is all in the texture of the bill. That is how he was able to spot a counterfeit $100 bill handed to him on Sunday, but he said it all happened so fast he wasn't sure and didn't realize it until it was too late.
"I tried with the pen, it was ok, so I just took it. I had some doubts, but I just took it," Patel said.
Robeks was just one of six West Hartford Center businesses that were allegedly hit by two brothers and another man and an unnamed minor.
"That one was pretty old bill. I thought it might be good, but I had doubts," Patel said.
Jason Hayle was charged with six counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery and one count of conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny.
Shawn Michael Hayle was charged with 10 counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, 10 counts of first-degree forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny and one count of fifth-degree larceny.
McLeod was charged with six counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, six counts of first-degree forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny, one count of fifth-degree larceny and one count of interfering with an officer. He was also charged as a fugitive from justice based on an out-of-state warrant.
Police said they are looking into whether other businesses were victimized by the suspects. They also said the secret service would be notified.
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