Image courtesy: Associated Press
MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - A bartender at DJ's Pub in Muskegon says, at first glance, there was nothing unusual about the $20 bills a customer gave her.
But on closer inspection Jodi Hendrie realized she'd accepted a total of seven very convincing counterfeit $20s from the middle aged suspect.
"It was printed perfectly," she explains, "but the paper...you could just tell."
Hendrie has tended bar for 17 years and isn't easily fooled, but Wednesday was a busy night at DJ's. She says the customer was polite, and he paid for some drinks with with real bills. Several times, Hendrie says, he sent a "regular" up to the bar to pay for drinks with one of the bogus bills.
"I'm busy, actually I'm very busy running back and forth," she recalls. "It finally started slowing down and when he gave me the last one it just didn't feel right to me. I held it up to the light and realized this was not right.
"Where he is sitting I know he could see what I was doing. I turned around and he was gone. He was sitting at the end of the bar and he was gone."
The suspect escaped leaving Hendrie and a waitress who accepted two of the bills on the hook for $140.
"I have to pay this back," she explains. "It's coming out of my pocket. He took it from my three children, he didn't take it from me. I work for my kids."
Police think they have identified the man who passed the counterfeit $20s, but they have not located him yet. They say they don't know if he passed counterfeit money at any other business -- or where he got the bills.
"Even if they do catch him, it doesn't mean we will get our money back," says Hendrie. "It's ridiculous. I trust people too darn much."
Officers say the man is around 60 years old, 5'11", 220 pounds and walks with a limp.
If you recognize him, call (231) 724-6750.