MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. - You hear stories of people trying to use counterfeit money all the time, at least on TV, but it's not that often you hear the suspects attempted to use money with hand-drawn watermarks.
According to court documents, Daniel Gillmore and Laura Vetter were jailed after being found with counterfeit bills, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Just after midnight on Sept. 19, Gillmore entered a Walgreens on N. Scottsdale Rd. and tried to make a purchase using a fake $100 bill, court documents say. The cashier immediately realized it was fake and said the coloring on the bill was wrong and the blue security strip had a glossy film on it similar to nail polish.
Gillmore fled the Walgreens before police showed up in a white SUV. According to police, the bill at the Walgreens looked like it had a lower quality font and coloring than normal U.S. currency, and the security ribbon appeared tampered with and illegible.
Furthermore, in the probable cause statement, police say the watermark on the bill looked like a poorly hand-drawn depiction of Benjamin Franklin.
Later that day, around 6 p.m., Gillmore entered a Dillard's on E. Camelback Rd. and tried to make a purchase with fake $100 and $50 bills. A manager used a counterfeit detector that confirmed they were fake.
These fakes weren't believable either. The bills appeared to be cut at an angle and off-center and had a poorly drawn depiction of Benjamin Franklin, a security ribbon that appeared to be ripped off and no watermark of the president to be seen, court documents said.
Gillmore was led to the Dillard's loss prevention office before he pushed his way past security and left Dillard's, going into the interior of the mall.
Gillmore ran through the mall, out of the mall and all the way to the Motel 6 next to Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. He entered room 111, which was being rented by Laura Vetter, documents say.
A patrol car watched the motel until detectives arrived and began surveillance. Eventually, Gillmore and Vetter got in a white Ford Escape SUV and left the motel; police believed they were trying to flee.
After following the suspects through turns, U-turns and parking lots, detectives pulled the car over and detained Gillmore and Vetter.
Gillmore had been ID'd by workers at Walgreens and Dillard's with a photo lineup, according to court documents.
After obtaining a search warrant for the motel and the SUV, police found empty bottles of a cleaning solution used to "wash" small denomination bills before printing counterfeit bills. Police found counterfeit bills in the SUV and a wad of $1 bills. Furthermore, police found 15 grams of marijuana and nearly 80 grams (over two ounces) of meth.
Vetter refused to speak, but Gillmore admitted to going to Dillard's and an incident with security, but denied any crimes.
Gillmore denied any knowledge of the items found in the search of the motel room and SUV.
According to court documents, police said, "From surveillance prior to the defendants being detained, it was obvious that the two conspired together and had knowledge of the felonious activities being committed."
Vetter and Gillmore are both convicted felons and are involved in ongoing felonious activity, according to police.
Police advised a substantial cash bond.
Vetter faces charges of two counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy and four drug charges. Gillmore faces charges of four counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy and four drug charges.