published: Sunday, October 07, 2012
Man busted with fake $20 bills
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Paul Corey Null, 18, a student at Sebring High School, was arrested by Sebring police on Wednesday after he allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at McDonalds at 3115 U. S. 27 S.
According to the police report, at approximately 12:30 a.m. a red F150 Ford truck with a crew cab pulled up to the first drive-in window. A white male with blond hair, sitting in the back seat behind the driver, ordered $5.35 worth of food and offered a $20 bill and 35 cents in payment.
When the McDonalds employee took the bill, the report continues, the employee could tell it was counterfeit by the texture of the paper, lack of security markings and the fact the counterfeit pen's ink turned black when marking the paper.
The assistant shift manager was notified, double checked the bill and saw the same discrepancies.
This didn't take long, about a minute, the police were told, at which point the truck drove off without collecting either food or change.
With the red truck and Florida license tag filmed by the security video, identifying information was communicated to other law enforcement units.
As the investigating officer completed his initial investigation, he was contacted by another officer who was with three white males and one white female in the Sebring Walmart parking lot. They all came from a red F150 Ford matching the video.
The driver of the truck was questioned. He said he had driven Null to the restaurant, but pulled past the window so Null could talk with the cashier directly. The driver said he had no idea what was happening. All he knew, he said, was Null told him it was taking too long, and to go ahead and leave.
Police brought the McDonalds employee to Walmart, where the suspect was identified.
Null was arrested and taken to Highlands County Jail. Upon being taken into custody, police searched Null's wallet where another 12 suspicious $20 bills were found. None of the bills had security markings, and all had the identical serial number.
Null is charged with possession of 10 or more counterfeit bills and fraud, both felonies.
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