CIRCEVILLE — The Circleville Police Department released information regarding a call dispatchers received for service to a local business. The result of the call ended with several felonies being charged, as well as misdemeanor counts.
Last Friday, July 31, the Circleville Police Department Communications Center received a call for service to Tractor Supply Company, located along U.S. Highway 23 South in the City of Circleville.
The call for service was in reference to a male who had, at the time, allegedly passed a counterfeit $100 bill. The male then fled the establishment heading eastbound while on foot.
Dispatchers with the department sent a description of the person with officers coming to the scene in a short amount of time. Officers started making a perimeter in the 1300 Block of South Pickaway Street. Officer Erick Eberhard and K9 Sergey were sent to the area and began to search for the suspect.
The search led officers to a residence located along South Pickaway Street. The duo of Eberhard and K9 Sergey tracked down the suspect in the basement of the residence who was able to get entry into the basement via an open window.
Detectives with the department were able to conclude the male suspect allegedly had purchased items deceptively from another farming and home store, Rural King, also located along the U.S. Highway 23 in Circleville prior to going to Tractor Supply Company.
Officers have identified the suspect as 19-year-old Semaj Shorts of the City of Durham, North Carolina. He was arrested and transported to the Pickaway County Jail in Circleville.
According to the department, Shorts was charged with two counts of counterfeiting, felonies in the fourth degree, which is punishable up to six to 18 months in prison with fines up to $5,000. He was also charged with breaking and entering, a felony in the fifth degree, which is punishable up to six to 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines.
Shorts was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of theft by deception.
Back on Feb. 16, the Circleville Police Department shared information regarding counterfeit bills as it has been seen more in the area. They also shared information from The Federal Reserve.
The best way to determine if a bill note is counterfeit is by looking at and located security features such as watermarks and security threads. Counterfeit detection pens are not always accurate, according to the police department, and may give false results.
The United States Department Currency Education Program, uscurrency.gov, has resources that locals can visit and learn from on how to detect counterfeit bills ranging from $1 to $100 bill notes.
The department stated that it is important to understand what features are in genuine currency because if an individual ends up with a counterfeit bill, they will lose that money. A counterfeit note cannot be exchanged for a real one and is illegal to pass a fake note knowingly to someone else.
For those who live in Ohio and throughout the country, if they notice they have received a counterfeit bill, they are urged to call and notify local police.