A couple of counterfeit $100 bills have police investigating in Willimantic.
Police said the fake bills were discovered at the Ocean State Job Lot in the city. Investigators called the counterfeit bills "high quality reproductions" that were only found during routine cash counting in a money machine.
"This is first time I've seen 100. And these are the best counterfeit bills I've ever seen," Willimantic Police Corporal Stanley Parizo said.
Parizo said when they were spent at the Ocean State Job Lot, the clerks couldn't recognize the difference either.
The bills had all of the necessary watermarks and color variations. They even passed a universal counterfeit detector pen test that would be used by most local businesses.
After examining the bills, a local bank found that the security line on them was too dark, a horizontal security stripe was crooked and the serial numbers were identical.
"There is a genuine weight to these things and tolerance is pretty tight and that's what did it," Parizo said.
Police said they sought to raise awareness and to alert residents within Willimantic and statewide that high quality $100 bills were circulating.
Two people with the counterfeit bills were caught on camera on May 5.
One was described as a man in his 30s who stood about 6 feet tall and weighed about 180 pounds. He had black, short hair. The other was a woman in her mid-30s, who stood about 5'5" tall and weighed about 160 pounds. She had brown hair.
Police said they don't know if the people who used these bills are behind the operation, but they want to talk to them before more fake bills circulate throughout the state.
"They could be regular consumers like you or I and went into an Ocean State Job Lot and got the gift card," Parizo said.
Police said the fakes can be spotted in two ways. First, the bill could be a fake if the numbers in the serial number are raised and the embed strip is darker.
Police want to identify the people with the counterfeit bills because if an innocent person was found with a counterfeit, they will not get reimbursed.
If you know anything, you are urged to call the WIllimantic Police Department at 860-465-3135.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.