Helicopter search for counterfeit bill user comes up empty

 Helicopter search for counterfeit bill user comes up empty

A helicopter-led search for a main who tried to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at a La Canada Flintridge drugstore came up empty Thursday afternoon.

After running out of the Flintridge Pharmacy before deputies arrived, a patrol helicopter was mobilized to locate him, unsuccessfully, said Sgt. Debra Herman of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“they came up with nothing. a lot of practice running around for naught,” said Herman. “they don’t even know if the person they saw running was the person that tried to pass the bill. There’s no way to know.”

Alejandra Cruz, a clerk at the pharmacy, which is located on Foothill Boulevard near Gould Avenue, said the man tried to purchase a gift bag and a nail fungus product with an $100 bill.

Cruz said that the counterfeit looked real, even having a watermark face and line visible when held to the light, but that one of her coworkers was suspicious

“one of our employees…worked with money for a long time so she knew a fake,” said Cruz. “After we scanned and saw it was fake, and went upstairs and told him we were going to get change –because we didn’t have any.”

Cruz said that her boss, Michael Stremfel, then called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station while the man waited downstairs. Cruz described the man, as tall, Hispanic, and in his 30s. 

Cruz said that after about 10 minutes the man asked her to get his money back since he didn’t want to wait, and that after she went upstairs he ran out the store, shortly after which deputies arrived and began their search.

Sgt. Herman said that when helicopter support is available for a search, it gets used.

“That’s not an unusual request. It’s just a resource they use,” said Herman. “It’s just they happened to be available today.”

Helicopter search for counterfeit bill user comes up empty

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