Well dressed counterfeiter strikes Marco salons

Posted at 11:03 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 17:24:31-04

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (UPDATE) - A surveillance image has been released for the man suspected of passing counterfeit money at five different businesses on Marco Island beginning on May 13. 

If you have any information about the identity of the suspect, please call Detective Mack at 239-389-5050. 

MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- It was a busy Thursday when a well dressed man walked into Rick's Island Salon in Marco Island Thursday.

He bought two containers of hair spray

"Picked out the product he wanted, came up to pay, and carried on a conversation the whole entire time," said owner Lisa Popoff.

He paid for his purchases with a 100 dollar bill.

"So we just gave him his change, not really thinking about the money he gave to us."

Turns out that cash was fake.

"He got product and $67 of real money."

Popoff isn't the only salon owner to fall victim to this scam.

Across Collier Boulevard, the owner of Sacha's Salon says a man fitting the same description on the same day passed her cashier fake money.

Both owners say the suspect was talkative and charming, and used those traits as a distraction.

"His next stop was to buy some chocolates," The suspect told Popoff.  "So we told him of a place down the road, I don't know if he ended up going there or not."

The suspect ended up visiting Dolce Mare on South Collier Boulevard.

A manager there says a man passed them fake money for real chocolate.

Neighboring businesses are aware of the suspect.

The manager at Nacho Mamas is having his staff check every 100 dollar bill.

"We do have a counterfeit money pen, and what we do with that is if we get one, we take the pen and the 100 dollar bill and mark on it," said Thomas Racnor.

If the pen leaves a black mark, the bill is fake.  Popoff says she didn't check the bill to see if it was fake until it was too late.

"I felt kind of violated, I thought to myself, I work my but off, I work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week."

Both salon owners describe the suspect as in his 60's, with salt and pepper hair color.  He was last seen wearing a blue oxford shirt, glasses, and he speaks with an accent.