OCALA, Fla. - Ocala police said they have put a stop to a counterfeit cash crime ring.
Police said they arrested five adults and a teenage girl whom they said passed bogus bills around the city Tuesday.
"It looked like a full day's work going on there," said Sgt. Angy Scroble, with the Ocala Police Department.
Police said the crew went around to at least eight businesses, many of them in the Gateway Plaza.
According to police, the group used counterfeit $20 bills to buy cheap items and then get change back.
Police said 23 counterfeit bills were recovered after officers canvassed the area looking for victims.
"It's a crime. We don't want any other business to be victimized," said Scroble.
One of the last businesses hit was Smoothie King.
A worker noticed the unusual bills and called police. That got the investigation rolling.
"(The employee) kind of felt the way it felt funny," Smoothie King manager Kelly Kilcrease said, describing the texture of the counterfeit bill.
Officers said it didn't take long to track done those they believe were using the counterfeit bills
. They found them in a rental truck.
They said inside the truck they found drugs and more fake bills.
They're now asking area businesses the check their bills carefully to make sure all their cash is genuine.
"It affects our bottom line. If we don't catch it we're out product -- a
smoothie. And if we're to give change back, we're out cash as well," said Kilcrease.
Police said they don't know how long the counterfeit bills have been passed around. They said the young girl who was arrested has been released to the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.