Crime - Sacto 911

Use of counterfeit money reported on rise in El Dorado County

Marcus Rodriguez
Marcus Rodriguez Booking photo, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office

El Dorado County sheriff’s officials advise residents to keep an eye out for counterfeit money, noting that the use of bogus bills has increased in the county.

Two people were arrested May 8 after deputies responded to a report of counterfeit money at Round Table Pizza on Missouri Flat Road near Placerville.

Marcus Rodriguez of West Sacramento reportedly tried to buy food using a fake $100 bill. He left the restaurant and drove away in a BMW while employees were calling the Sheriff’s Department, according to officers.

Deputies spotted a vehicle matching the description of the BMW near Green Valley Road and Mallard Lane in Placerville. They arrested Rodriguez, 30, who also is suspected of similar activities in Washoe County, Nev., according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

A woman with him was cited for driving with a suspended driver’s license.

The Sheriff’s Office reported six other incidents involving counterfeit bills in less than two months:

  • At 7 a.m. April 7, a report was taken from Safeway, off Missouri Flat Road, of a man who attempted to make a purchase using a fake $100 bill. The man left the store and got into a silver SUV driven by a woman. He was described as Hispanic, in his late 20s, wearing a dark blue sweater and black pants.
  • About 12:25 p.m. April 28, deputies were dispatched to the Sizzler restaurant in Cameron Park regarding a counterfeit $100 bill. The suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s, 6 feet tall, with a heavy build. He reportedly appeared to be the same person who used a phony $100 bill the previous week at the restaurant.
  • About 5:15 p.m. May 9, someone used a counterfeit $100 bill to purchase clothing at the Snowline Hospice store in Cameron Park. The suspects were a man and woman who were shopping together. The man was described as Hispanic, about 25 years old, 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 200 pounds. The woman was described as Hispanic, about 25 years old, approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing about 125 pounds.
  • About 2:40 p.m. May 12 a Hispanic man attempted to pass a $20 bill at the 76 gas station on South Shingle Road. He reportedly was driving an older blue Nissan pickup truck with a lumber rack. He was described as in his mid 20s, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 130 pounds and wearing a black hat, black T-shirt and jeans.
  • On Friday, a counterfeit $100 bill was located by Revenue and Recovery in Shingle Springs. The business received the fake bill through a transaction with a customer, who reportedly got it from a Walmart store in Folsom when cashing a Social Security check.
  • About 4:15 p.m. Saturday, the Safeway store in Pollock Pines reported receiving a counterfeit $20 bill. The bill was found in one of the store’s cash registers.

Sheriff’s officials said they don’t know whether the cases are related. Businesses are advised to check all cash received to make sure it is genuine before completing a transaction. If suspicious currency is received, they are encouraged to keep the bill and call 911. If the customer leaves, employees should make note of the person’s description as well as his or her vehicle, its license plate number and direction of travel.

Anyone with information about any of the recent cases is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (530) 621-5655, or send an email via the Sheriff’s Office website,