Fairfield cops bust three for passing fake bills
FAIRFIELD — A few months of surveillance proved worth it Friday when police snagged three men for passing bogus $100 bills at Victoria’s Secret.
Police had been watching the store since receiving reports of the use there of counterfeit bills. The merchandise bought with the fake money would then be returned to other Victoria’s Secret locations.
On Friday, prior to 5 p.m., one of the officers alerted the store’s manager as to what they were doing, and, as luck would have it, she said a man in a blue hooded sweatshirt just used what she thought were fake $100 bills. Another officer spotted the suspect, later identified as Ismael Culzac, 18, crossing the street and carrying a pink and black bag from the store. There were two other men — Joseph Abankwa, 19, and Hayale Smtih, 19 — waiting across the street.
The store manager said she did not call police when she received the $100 bills, which she said seemed to be a different size and felt “different,” because of store policy. The bills, police said, had no watermark, and several had the same serial number. The manager identified all three as having used the fake money in the store that afternoon.
Abankwa and Culzac were both charged with sixth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny, and first-degree forgery.
In addition to the forger charge, Smith was charged with fifth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny and interfering with a police officer because Smith initially gave police a false name.
All three were given bonds of $5,000, which Abankwa and Smith posted. All New York residents, the trio is scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on April 7.