Three New Yorkers—including one female juvenile—were arrested on charges that they tried to pass off fake $100 bills to West Caldwell businesses last week.
An Essex Mall Carvel employee called West Caldwell Police on Thursday at 8 p.m. to report that a Hispanic man was trying to make a purchase with what the employee believed to be a bogus $100 bill, according to Police Chief Michael J. Bramhall.
Officers responded to the area of the Essex Mall and, in the process of checking other stores, met with employees of Franco’s Pizzeria who described a Hispanic female that also had tried to make a purchase with a fake $100 bill.
Pizzeria employees told cops that the Hispanic female left the area in a white 4-door BMW.
Patrol officers canvassed other shopping areas in West Caldwell and soon thereafter Officer Anthony Kazoun found a white BMW in the West Caldwell Shopping Center with a woman matching the description given by Franco’s employees.
Cops discovered that a Hispanic man had attempted to pass a fake $100 bill at the Red Mango store there.
Further investigation revealed that Donte DeBour, 19, of Long Island City, NY; Bryan Heredia, 18, of Elmhurst, NY; and a 17-year-old juvenile female from Jackson Heights, New York; had been attempting to pass counterfeit $100 bills to West Caldwell businesses.
DeBour and Heredia were charged with four counts of conspiracy, forgery, employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, criminal attempt, and theft by deception, according to Bramhall.
The juvenile was charged with four counts of forgery, criminal attempt, and theft by deception.
All three suspects, who are innocent until proven guilty, were released and have a mandatory court date of Feb. 13, cops said.
The suspects BMW was seized and an additional 16 counterfeit $100 bills were located in the vehicle.
Patrolman Anthony Kazoun was assisted in the investigation and arrest by Sgt. Dennis Capriglione and Cpl. John Kappock.
The United States Secret Service was also contacted, according to police.