Placer High School Students Accused of Passing Counterfeit Bills at Local Businesses

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AUBURN -- Auburn police say around 10 Placer High School students are suspected of attempting to pass fake $20 bills to at least half a dozen local businesses.

Lisa Swisley owns two businesses in downtown Auburn. One is Local Heroes, which is just blocks away from the high school.

On Monday, someone came into her restaurant and paid with counterfeit bills.

"We heard there were bills going around and so we kind of knew about it but then there was a shift change and we hadn’t communicated," Swisley told FOX40. "One of our girls took one of the bills. She wasn’t sure who gave it to her."

Two of those bills were passed off inside a cafeteria at Placer High School.

Police say they believe the bills were purchased from an outside source.

"A high school student ordered online prop currency, which is ... basically looks just like currency," said Auburn Polie Sgt. Tucker Huey.

The word "replica" was written on the side of the bills but Swisley said it was hard to spot, particularly during busy hours.

She said this wasn’t the first time someone has passed along fake money.

"We received at least three, between my two businesses, three $100 bills, a couple of 20s, a couple of 10s and a few weeks ago, we got a five," Swisley said.

Now, police are urging businesses to stay on alert.

"Pay attention to what you're getting," Huey said. "If it doesn’t look right or feel right, take a second to look at it, and if it's still suspicious report it to law enforcement."

Police say the district attorney's office will now decide which, if any, of the teens will face criminal charges.

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