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Police investigating possible farmers market scam in West Allis

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Police investigating possible farmers market scam in West Allis

By Courtny Gerrish. CREATED Aug 26, 2014

WEST ALLIS - Police are looking for more information after someone used fake money on multiple vendors at a farmers market there.

One farmer says it's like working the entire day for nothing when something like this happens, and these vendors are disappointed this guy took advantage of them.
 
It's the end of another day at the West Allis Farmers Market, and today was business as usual  Last Thursday was not.  That's when a guy with a wallet full of fake $50 bills stopped by.
 
"The top of the bill was fine.  He had all the water marks," Henry Centgraf remembers. The guy bought $5 worth of corn with a bogus fifty.  Centgraf gave him $45 back.
 
The man moved on to another vendor, Cindy and Joe Chapman and did the same thing. But his next request is what eventually made everyone suspicious. Joe told us, "he said 'no other farmers will take fifties will you cash this one too?'  So I said "I guess I can. So I gave him $50 back."
 
The Chapmans got hit for a $100.  Cindy takes it personally.  "That really does hurt your feelings when something like that happens." 
 
Dan Koralewski is with the West Allis Health Department.  He says as the guy went vendor to vendor the news spread fast.  "That's the thing about our farmers market it's almost like family down here and the farmers talk to one another."
 
The farmers were able to give police a really good description.  They also hope surveillance cameras got a good picture of the guy.
 
The vendors won't do business any differently, but Centgraf says they will be paying closer attention.  "I guarantee everybody in this market is going to have their guard up."
 
In all this guy passed 14 fake $50 bills at the farmers market.  That's 700-dollars worth.  West Allis Police are not sure if the suspect has used the bogus bills anywhere else.  
Courtny Gerrish

Courtny Gerrish

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Courtny Gerrish started at TODAY'S TMJ4 on March 13, 2006. A graduate of Indiana University, Courtny first called Evanston, Illinois home.