WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland State Police are on the lookout for several people they say are part of a counterfeiting ring. Police are hoping someone may recognize the suspects from surveillance photos and turn them in.
Rochelle Ritchie explains how the suspected thieves are turning fake cash into real money.
Maryland State Police say the group is a combination of men and women who use counterfeit money to buy high-end products like electronics and then later return them for real cash.
Maryland State Police say several people are behind a grand scheme of robbing Walmart. But the suspects aren’t hiding their purchases or their faces, they are buying their stolen goods — or so it seems — and walking right out the front door.
“The first week of June, we took a police report at the Hampstead Walmart in the northern part of Carroll County for approximately $1,600 in counterfeit $50 bills that were spent,” said Dep. Sgt. Patrick Lacey, Maryland State Police.
Maryland State Police say once the suspects have the goods, they then return them to another Walmart, where they receive real cash.
“Sometimes, bills wouldn’t get caught until the money made it all the way to the bank,” Lacey said.
The large counterfeit currency ring involves more than 20 Walmart stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware.
The Walmart stores in Randallstown and Owings Mills have both been hit. Many of the purchases are being made with fake $50 bills.
Eight arrests have already been made; eight remain at large; three have already been identified by police.
“We still need help with the remaining five,” said Lacey. “So if anybody knows who these folks are… again, they are person of interests and we just want to identify them to see what further role they play in the investigation.”
Maryland State Police say other stores, such as Target, were also targeted in the ring.
Police say more than 20 stores were hit in Maryland.
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