ROSE HILL, Kan. -- Police in Rose Hill are warning people to make sure any cash they are handed is real.
The warning comes after a string of counterfeit cases in recent weeks. At least three businesses have reported people using fake cash to pay for items, police said Monday.
In one case, a clerk who works at the Rose Hill Apple Market grocery store noticed the $20 bills someone was using to obtain a $300 money order did not look or feel right. The clerk then noticed every bill had the same serial number.
"We would totally have lost that money if, in turn, we took the cash that was handed to us," said Alma Fewlass, a manager of the Apple Market.
Fewlass is glad her co-worker noticed the bills were fake, refused to take them and then called police. The incident, she said, is unfair to the store's loyal customers.
"It's frustrating when you have to do each and every 20 and they look at you like, 'Why are you doing that? I'm not guilty of anything,'" Fewlass said. "No, we're not saying that you are, but it could happen that you have one and not even realize it."
That is exactly what police say is happening after counterfeit bills were passed at other Rose Hill businesses, including Sonic and Casey's General Store, this month.
"It's not a criminal act to try to pass something you think is legitimate," said Detective Sgt. Terry Love of the Rose Hill Police Department. "The bad news is, if that was a $10 or $20 bill in change, then we're just out that 10 or 20."
Love said store employees and residents will often be able to notice if a bill is counterfeit.
"What we see quite often is you can tell the difference just in touch of the bills," he said. "In this case, the paper was heavier than even a new, crisp bill."
While the Apple Market did not fall victim to counterfeiting, Fewlass is furious someone tried it at all.
"It's annoying because we try to keep our little store and also the gas station because we only have one," she said.