Dramatic Citizen's Arrest Takes Down Alleged Counterfeiter in the Haight

Counterfeit $20 bills are circulating around San Francisco, although, as Hoodline reports, the man who allegedly made them was taken off the streets yesterday.

[jump] Per Hoodline, counterfeit bills recently popped up at two locations in the Haight: Cantata Coffee and Mom’s Tattoo. Tellers at the Wells Fargo on Haight St. were also advising customers about the dummy bills.

Yesterday morning, the man who had allegedly been printing the bad bills was captured in a dramatic citizen's arrest. Again, per Hoodline:

…the man who had allegedly been spending the fake bills returned to Cantata with another fake $20, which the barista refused to accept. According to Cantata employee Brianna Oliphant, a few of their regulars (described by another regular customer as ‘people living on the street, with packs and dogs’) happened to be around and had heard about the fake bills, so they tried to get the man to stay while the shop called the cops. When the man ran, Cantata's regulars tackled him and held him down in a citizen's arrest until the police arrived. The man was arrested by police following the incident.

A regular at the cafe told Hoodline that the man had also been using fake twenties to buy drugs around the neighborhood.

“We see better and better quality counterfeit money that's getting more and more difficult to detect,” Sylvain Montessier, owner of San Francisco Deli and Wine, told KTVU last year. And while the Secret Service seized $156 million in counterfeit bills in 2013, the odds of encountering fake money in your daily transactions are small.

“One one-hundredth of one percent of the entirety of currency in circulation is actually counterfeit,” U.S. Secret Service Acting Special Agent Charles Marino told KTVU.

Penalties for counterfeiting money could include a $250,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison.

Here's more info about counterfeit bills from the Secret Service. 

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