Fake dollar bills fooled at least two Baltimore County cashiers, but four county middle-schoolers caught with the bills were suspended and yesterday received a stern lecture from the U.S. Secret Service.
The look-alike dollar bills have backward printing and are marked, "For Promotion Only," according to police. "It was good enough to fool someone in a hurry. The face of Washington was perfect," said Ruth Vogel, manager of a Carney card shop whose cashier was victimized last week.
The first phony bill turned up last month in the cafeteria till at Parkville High School. One evening last week, a boy gave a bill to a cashier at Ms. Vogel's shop and asked for change. The bill's worthlessness was detected the next morning.
Last Wednesday, an eighth-grader at Pine Grove Middle School on Old Harford Road tried to pass one of the bills in the school cafeteria, police said. The bill was spotted, and the boy was questioned. He implicated three other eighth-graders. All four eighth-graders were suspended.
A school spokeswoman said a Secret Service agent spoke with the boys and their parents yesterday.