A 29-year-old is under arrest for allegedly making fake bills that were used in stores in Dublin, Westerville, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, Powell, Pickerington, Gahanna, Grove City and Genoa Township.
An employee at Hot Dawgs! on Stringtown Road in Grove City said she was suspicious when she got a bill that didn’t look and feel right.
“I knew something was wrong, but he kept talking to me and I was trying to be polite,” the employee said.
She later learned the man used a fake $20 bill to pay for a hot dog that cost $3.25. From that, he got $16.75 back in real money, as change.
“As soon as the customer left, she looked at me and said ‘I'm not sure about this bill. Can you look at it?’ And I looked at it, and I ran out. He had taken off his hat, and he had gotten in his car and left,” said Ken Jewell, owner of Hot Dawgs!
According to the Secret Service, the same man spent more than $5,000 in counterfeit cash all across the central Ohio area.
The businesses included eight Pet People stores, Jimmy John’s and multiple Get Gos, according to authorities.
Investigators said the man used small bills, like $10s and $20s, in stores where he could go in, make a quick buy, and get out.
After a surveillance operation, agents arrested 29-year-old Doug Spettel, where he was staying. Officers said they found a machine he was using to make the fake cash, along with nearly $500 bucks in unused counterfeit currency.
Even though authorities say he only used the fake cash once at Hot Dawgs!, owner Ken Jewell says he's glad to see agents got him.
“One's too much. He needs to go to jail. He needs to know what he did was wrong,” said Jewell.
Employees of the shop plan to be more careful in the future.
Secret Service officials told 10TV that they are looking for more people who may have been involved.
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