Sunday, July 5, 2009

Counterfeiters Walk Free in Brooklyn

What do you do if you are a store keeper and get a counterfeit bill from a customer? The Secret Service instructs as follows on its web site.

  • Do not return it to the passer.

  • Delay the passer if possible.

  • Observe the passer's description, as well as that of any companions, and the license plate numbers of any vehicles used.

  • Contact your local police department or United States Secret Service field office. These numbers can be found on the inside front page of your local telephone directory.

  • Write your initials and the date in the white border areas of the suspect note.

  • Limit the handling of the note. Carefully place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope.

  • Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a U.S. Secret Service special agent.
All of this information is helpful, provided you don't live in Brooklyn. Here, we have crime statistics that are very helpful. They tell us not to trust our eyes and ears, that crime is going down. Anything we may personally experience is anecdotal. How do we achieve this continuous progress? The experience of a Brooklyn store keeper who tried to turn in a customer who TWICE passed a counterfeit bill in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Crown reports as follows on the reaction of police in Brooklyn to a shop keeper who attempted to report a federal crime.

"CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn [CHI] – A Black woman twice attempted to pass fake currency in Crown Kosher, a butcher shop on Kingston Avenue, once successfully. One day later a Black man attempted to do the same in another store on the Avenue. The two appeared to have been trying to make small purchases with the bad bills and get change in good currency, the bills they were using were $10’s and $20’s which don’t usually draw the attention of the cashiers.

According to, when the woman returned with a second counterfeit bill, the storekeeper called the police, who took a half hour to respond. They instructed the shop keeper to tear up the counterfeit bill.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I fear that if the reputation of Brooklyn as an easy spot for counterfeiters becomes widely known, it may end up being a gateway into the national money supply for fake bills. If crime is really down, then the police have time to track down traffickers in fake money. It is highly disturbing that this very serious offense is treated so lightly. It is a pity that the police do not take the law as seriously as do shopkeepers.

Fortunately, the store owner who was brushed off by local police still has the fake bill, as well as the video of the perp. Hopefully, he will receive more respect and assistance from the Secret Service. The integrity of our national currency is of critical importance to our country's well being. This opinion should be shared by all in law enforcement.

For an update v from the store in this article, please go to Sphere: Related Content

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