Cotati police are seeking a woman accused of passing a bogus $100 at a high school bake sale.
Police in Cotati, a city of 7,500 on Highway 101 between Petaluma and Santa Rosa, say Michelle Marie Kruse bought $20 of baked goods Monday at a Rancho Cotate High School music program bake sale outside Oliver’s Market. In a Facebook post, polie say Kruse paid with a counterfeit $100 bill and received $80 in change.
A teenager manning the booth realized the bill was fake and followed the woman to her car, a Honda Accord, police say. The woman sped off out of the parking lot.
“It takes a special type of person to defraud students looking to raise money for their music program,” the post says. Police note the students are out not only the $100, but the handmade baked goods purchased with the bogus bill – three Rice Krispie treats, a brownie and possibly a slice of cake, reports The Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Cotati police posted surveillance photos of the woman and her car Tuesday, seeking the public’s help, and were subsequently able to identify her as Kruse. A second Facebook post Wednesday asks for the public’s help in locating her and notes she may have painted the chrome rims of her car black in an apparent (but probably not very effective) attempt at disguise.
Vickie Gilbert, a board member with the Rancho Cotate High School Music Boosters club, told the Press Deomcrat that teens were using the bake sale to raise money for an upcoming trip.
“We’re hoping in the springtime to go to Disneyland, where they get to march down Main Street,” Gilbert told the newspaper.