Rice Lake police arrested a woman for attempting to pass a fake $100 bill at Royal Credit Union on Sept. 24.
The bill had Chinese lettering on its backside and had been ripped into three pieces.
Police contacted Jessica M. Schutz, 36, of 112 W. Douglas St., Rice Lake the next day to talk about the bill.
The criminal complaint states Schultz told the officer she had received the $100 bill as change from a BP gas station.
The officer found it unbelievable that she received a $100 bill, let alone a ripped $100 bill, as change.
The officer allowed Schutz to change clothing before arresting her.
Schutz was charged on Sept. 26 with two misdemeanors: obstructing an officer and attempting theft through false representation.
A felony possession of methamphetamine charge was added after a gem bag of meth fell out of her bra while changing at Barron County Jail.
Schutz is being held on a $500 cash bond.
Schutz was charged with attempted theft because the bill was not created to be spent as U.S. currency. It likely originated as a Chinese movie prop or bank training note.
Regional passing attempts
September saw multiple instances of fake currency being passed in the region.
On Sept. 20, Eau Claire police arrested four people accused of victimizing 11 business by making purchases of less than $15 with fake $100 bills and pocketing the legitimate currency given as change.
The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported that police located $753 on one of the men, believing it to be change from use of fake $100 bills.
Police do not think the Eau Claire case and the Rice Lake case are related.
Further to the west, T-Buckets Hometown Bar in St. Croix County posted photos on its Facebook page of a fake $100 bill used to pay a tab Sept. 7.
The post states the fake bill feels different and looks different and has Chinese writing on the back.
Police say this bill is similar to the one Schutz attempted to pass at RCU.
Spotting the fake
Governments have always had to protect their currencies.
The current designs of U.S. currency was introduced in 2003 with the $20 bill, according to the U.S. Currency Education Program. The $50 bill was issued the next year, and the $5, $10 and $100 bills have also received make overs since then.
Security features on these denominations include watermarks and a security thread that appears in UV light.
Denominations of $10 and higher use ink in the lower right corner that color shifts from copper to green.
The $100 bill includes a Liberty Bell in an inkwell that shifts from copper to green.
Notify law enforcement when a fake bill is located. The police will then notify the U.S. Department of the Treasury of the illegitimate currency.