By Lynda Jones
Traffic on the Courier Facebook page skyrocketed this week with the announcement from Crockett Police Chief David Cross that counterfeit money has been passed in some Crockett stores.
A banker offered help to business owners who want to learn how to identify counterfeit bills, and merchants were sharing where to purchase markers that aid in identification of fake currency.
Cross reported the Crockett Police Department took several reports of counterfeit money being passed at local businesses over the past two weeks.
The stores were the fake money was passed include: Dollar General on North Fourth St., Supers Shop #2 located on South Fourth St., EZ Stop located on West Goliad Ave., OK Food Store on South Fourth St. and Crockett Beauty Supply on East Houston Ave., according to Cross.
After detectives investigated, conducted interviews and reviewed video surveillance, they obtained an arrest warrant for a suspect, Reginald Lamar Hickman, 38, of Crockett.
Investigators also obtained a search warrant for Hickman's residence in the 700 block of Polk Ave.
That search warrant was executed by the CPD on Tuesday, Feb. 23.by Crockett PD. Hickman was at the residence and he was taken into custody on the Counterfeit charge, which is Forgery under the Texas Penal Code and is a Third Degree Felony.
Hickman allegedly had counterfeit money on his person at the time of his arrest. A search of the residence also yielded more counterfeit money and other items that were possibly used in the production of the fake money, according to Cross.
Additional suspects are being investigated in relation to the passing of the counterfeit money and more charges against Hickman are pending.
The CPD encourages all businesses to carefully examine the money they are taking in and use counterfeit detection markers on all large bills to make sure the money is real.
The Secret Service has a Web site, www.secretservice.gov that explains security features used in U.S. currency to help merchants and the public identify counterfeit money.
This information can be accessed through a link under "Investigations," in a section called "Know Your Money."
"I want to thank Sgt. Vickers and Officer Aguirre and our CID division for the work they did on this case," Cross said.