Counterfeit bills reported at five schools

A fourth and fifth Belmont County school has received counterfeit money.

Martins Ferry was the first school to receive the fake money. The Purple Riders’ Athletic Department took in a $50 counterfeit bill “about 10 days ago at a volleyball match,” according to Superintendent of Schools Dirk Fitch.

Ferry’s bill was discovered the next day when Athletic Director Kim Appolloni was depositing the money and the bank teller noticed it. The bill was then turned over to Ferry Police.

Bridgeport, Shadyside and St. Clairsville all have received counterfeit money in the last week and now Barnesville becomes the latest.

It turned over counterfeit money to local authorities Tuesday night.

While hosting the Division IV volleyball sectional, Barnesville High School discovered a counterfeit $50 was used at the concession stand.

Through the surveillance cameras, Barnesville officials believe they have a suspect. All of the surveillance video evidence was turned over to Barnesville Police.

According to Barnesville Athletic Director and Tournament Manager Mark Cook, the individual entered the school during the second match of the evening after tickets had stopped being sold.

“From what we could see, a guy comes in, goes to the restroom, concession stand, walks through the hallway, looking at things on the wall,” Cook said. “The guy appeared to be in his late 20s to early 30s and we’d never seen him before. He was wearing a hat and a green hooded Aeropostale sweatshirt. It seemed as that he was really familiar with our building.”

This is the first incident in Barnesville. Bridgeport’s counterfeit money was taken in at a volleyball game. Shadyside and St. Clairsville received counterfeit money during their football games last Friday. St. Clairsville, which had more than $300 in counterfeit money, was also hit on Monday at its Division II sectional volleyball tournament.

The majority of the counterfeit money popping up throughout the county has been in the forms of $50 bills. A few $20 bills have also been turned over.

On Saturday, when St. Clairsville discovered its counterfeit money at the bank, ironically, Barnesville School treasurer Matt King was there making a deposit.

Once he learned what was going on, he placed an order for the pens that check bills to make sure of their authenticity, which are still on their way.

According to Barnesville High Principal Jeff Crosier and Cook, this is the first time any Barnesville event has received counterfeit money.

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