Eyes rolled at the Wauwatosa Police Department this week when it was found that somebody had passed a counterfeit bill at the station counter.
A veteran Wauwatosa officer was assigned the mundane task of making a deposit of collections of fines and permit fees at BMO Harris Bank, 7501 W. North Ave. He handed over the take and waited while a teller tallied it.
And then he was told that a $10 bill in the deposit was counterfeit.
The bill appeared to have been "washed," a common practice in which counterfeiters remove the ink from a real bill of lower denomination and reprint it as a higher value bill so that the distinctive feel of real currency paper is retained.
When the teller ran the deposit through a machine that not only counts but detects the telltale marker implanted in every piece of U.S. scrip, the fake was uncovered.
Yes, somebody passed a phony bill at the police station.
A police clerk told inquiring officers the bill would have come out of the change drawer and there was no telling when or who it would have come from. The Police Department is, though, more diligent than most retailers, she said.
"We check all the $50s and $100s with a marker pen," she told Patch.
The clerk said she was fairly sure the bad bill was handed over unintentionally.
"Who knows how many hands it passed through?" she said.
To add to the insult, the bill was confiscated from the Police Department by the bank and sent to its main office to be turned over to the U.S. Secret Service, per bank policy, leaving the police $10 short.
In other recent incidents:
At 5:30 p.m., a 64-year-old New Berlin woman was arrested for theft from Macy’s at Mayfair Mall after she was seen in the jewelry department taking a ring out of a box and putting it on. She then went to the women’s clothing department and bagged two sweaters, then back to jewelry for another ring. She tried to leave without paying and was detained. She said had money to pay for the merchandise and had done “something stupid.”
At 4:06 p.m., a 22-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a Wauwatosa woman called police to say that he was trying to enter a car parked at Tosa Pediatrics, 8651 W. North Ave. She had been sitting in her car when she saw the suspect trying to get into the one next to her. Through the windows of both cars, he saw her watching him and took off. Police stopped his car not far away and cited him.
At 7:31 p.m., an employee of Ray’s Liquor, 8930 W. North Ave., reported that three women had come into the store together and that two of them had created a distraction while the third hid three bottles of liquor in her purse. The three bought some other merchandise and left. The theft was confirmed by video surveillance footage.
A 25-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for substantial battery after she slammed a Greenfield woman’s hand in the door of her car, breaking two bones. The two had been at a party at a mutual friend’s house in the 9200 block of Stickney Avenue and the Milwaukee woman became intoxicated and angry at the victim for no apparent reason. When the victim tried to leave, the suspect followed her out and injured her.
At 11:38 p.m., a Milwaukee woman reported that some time since 5:45 p.m. someone had broken a window out of her car and stolen two items – a small space heater and a framed memorial letter – while the car was parked at Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Dr.
Police were seeking a known suspect after managers at the Pick ‘n Save at 6700 W. State St. reported that a man they recognized as a chronic thief had taken a bottle of vodka and packages of steaks. They followed him to the parking lot, where he refused to be detained but left the merchandise behind. Just before he drove off in a green Geo Metro, a store employee was able to rip a plastic bag off his license plate, revealing the number, which was given to police.
A resident of the 10400 block of West Melvina Street reported that a front window at his home had been broken in an act of vandalism.
A Milwaukee woman reported that the catalytic converter had been stolen off her car Thursday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. while the car was parked with permission at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 9400 W. Congress St., during her work shift at Luther Manor, 4545 N. 92nd St.