Las Cruces man suspected of using fake money at Walmart


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Las Cruces Police arrested one man for allegedly using fake $20 bills at a local Walmart.

Derick Symalla, 28, is facing three counts of forgery after he allegedly used three fake $20 bills at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 23 at Walmart, 571 Walton Blvd.

He allegedly tried to sneak the three fake bills with three real ones.

“Symalla indicated to investigators he knew the $20 bills were counterfeit because he allegedly made them,” a release from the Las Cruces Police Department said. “Symalla was arrested Friday evening and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.”

Police have the following tips for anyone who suspects fake money:

  • The Federal Reserve prints only seven denominations of paper currency in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. Tips to help differentiate between real and fake currency:
  • Compare the feel and texture of the currency to other bills you know are authentic.
  • If the currency’s ink or color smears, the bill is likely a fake.
  • Look for matching serial numbers. Fake bills often have the same serial numbers.
  • Hold the bill to a light. Authentic currency has: 1, a holograph on the face image of the bill; 2, a thin vertical stripe with text that spells the bill’s denomination; 3, a watermark to the right of the portrait; 4, a security thread imbedded from top to bottom on the face of the bill that indicates the currency value.
  • Look for color-shifting ink on the numeral in the lower right-hand corner of authentic currency. In all denominations, except the $5, the color should shift from green to black.
  • Authentic bills have fine-line patterns behind the portrait and on the reverse-side scene.
  • Under ultraviolet glow, an authentic $5 bill glows blue, the $10 bill glows orange, the $20 is green, the $50 is yellow and the $100 will glow red.

If you suspect counterfeit currency, call police immediately:

  • Observe the passer’s description, their companion’s description and relevant information such as the vehicle they are in, license plate number, etc.
  • Avoid handling the counterfeit note. Place it in a protective cover or envelope until it’s handed over to law enforcement.

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