NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio– A counterfeit crime spree seems to have targeted several communities in Northeast Ohio.
But police said instead of using bogus money the suspect is using phony receipts.
According to police, the suspect is turning in fake Coinstar receipts for real money.
Coinstar machines are located in many supermarkets. The machine counts spare change and then spits out a receipt which can then be cashed in, or used to purchase gift cards or other items at the store.
North Royalton Detective Dave Loeding said a Giant Eagle in their community was hit on March 16.
“And she presented a receipt at the service counter that was fraudulent, but it appeared to have come from the Coinstar machine itself,” said Det. Loeding.
The phony receipt was for $152.95. Det. Loeding said the odd number made the receipt appear to be authentic.
About a week later the store was alerted to the theft by another store that had also been taken in the scam.
Police said Broadview Heights, Parma, South Euclid and Mayfield Heights have also been hit.
Authorities are circulating an image of a female suspect captured on store surveillance video.
They can’t say if she is linked to all of the thefts but it appears a similar template may have been used to make the receipts.
The dollar amounts are generally under $200.