Lothian and Borders Police are urging shopkeepers, shop assistants and members of the public to be on their guard following three incidents of fake bank notes being used in the Borders over the past few weeks.
Forged £20 notes were used twice in the Peebles area and once in Selkirk in a matter of days.
The issue first came to light on Thursday, December 1, when at 1.50pm, a male described as white, slim build, 25-26 years of age, approx 5’5’, dark hair, wearing a grey hooded top, blue or black baseball cap, blue jeans and white trainers entered a shop in Peebles and presented a Clydesdale bank £20 note to pay for goods valued at £2.25.
On checking the note, the shop assistant identified it to be fake. When the male was made aware that it was a counterfeit note, he left the shop and ran off in the direction of Tweed Green.
The following day at around 11.15am a man entered a takeaway in Selkirk and went to purchase a bottle of juice with a Bank of Scotland £20 note.
On being handed the note, the shop assistant became suspicious of the note due to its texture and colour.
On checking the note further, she identified the note to be fake. On making the male aware of this, he left the shop without purchasing any goods.
The male is described as 25-30 years, 5ft 8, skinny bulid with short fair hair, he was wearing denim jeans and a jacket which had three coloured horizontal stripes on it (dark blue, light blue and white).
The most recent incident took place on Tuesday, December 6, whereby a male entered a charity shop in Peebles and purchased an item for £3.50 with a forged Bank of England £20 note.
On checking the note, the shop assistant noticed that it was a forged note and on making the male aware of this, he replaced this with a legitimate note to purchase the goods.
As yet there haven’t been any reported incidents of counterfeit currency being tendered in Berwickshire but Lothian and Borders Police are urging both shoppers and shop employees to be on their guard.
A police spokesman commented: “We would urge shop assistants to observe all notes very carefully and if they suspect the note to be fake, they should record the value of the note, the bank type and the Serial No and contact police immediately.”
The male in the most recent incident is described as stocky build, balding on top, medium height and in the company of a female (not further described) with a buggy and a young boy approximately eight years old.
Anyone who has information, which could lead to the identification of those responsible or can assist police with their enquiries are asked to contact Peebles Police Station on 01721 720 637 or Hawick police station on 01450 375051.