From the Benicia Police Department:
During the past week-and-a-half, an unknown suspect passed or attempted to pass at least six counterfeit twenty dollar bills within the City of Benicia. Local businesses, convenience stores and coffee shop type businesses were targeted by the suspect. The suspect was successful in passing the counterfeit bills on at least four occasions in Benicia.
On Thursday, around 6:30 a.m., a Benicia Police Officer observed a vehicle leaving the Southampton Shopping Center located on Southampton Road. A Starbucks coffee shop is located in this shopping center. The officer recognized the vehicle from a previous forgery/counterfeit case investigated by the Benicia Police Department. The officer stopped the vehicle a short distance from this location. The driver of the vehicle matched surveillance photos of the responsible suspect.
A clerk who previously received the counterfeit money was driven to the scene and positively identified Laurence Fonseca as the subject who passed the counterfeit money at her business. Fonseca was arrested and transported to the police department.
During an interview with Fonseca, he admitted to creating the counterfeit money and passing or attempting to pass the bills in Benicia. Fonseca admitted passing counterfeit money on November 21, November 27 and November 28 at Benicia businesses.
Fonseca was transported and booked into the Solano County Jail in Fairfield. He was booked on 12 counts of Forgery (making and passing counterfeit money), 6 counts of commercial burglary, and one count of violation of probation. Fonseca is currently on probation in Solano County for a previous felony theft related conviction.
Any businesses that may have received counterfeit money in the recent past, and have not yet notified the Benicia Police Department, are encouraged to call the Benicia Police Department at 707-745-3411 or by contacting Detective Sgt. Roger Yokoi at 746-4244. Any citizens with information regarding these cases are also encouraged to call the Benicia Police Department or if they prefer to remain anonymous, can call SOLANO COUNTY CRIMESTOPPERS AT (707)644-7867 or (707)644-STOP.
For further information regarding this press release, please contact Lt. Frank Hartig via email or by calling (707) 746-4259.
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About this column: Each weekday Patch publishes a run down of police calls from the previous day. Monday's log recaps the weekend calls.