Counterfeit bill found in West Bank skyway store

Rocky Thompson

An employee at the West Bank skyway store found a counterfeit $1 bill in the cash register and reported it to police Friday after contacting a bank.

Staff at the Secret Service’s Minneapolis field office said they rarely see cases involving $1 counterfeiting.

The fine for holding a fake $1 bill is $200, they said. The fine and severity of the crime increase as the bill denomination increases.

“Considering it’s a serious crime, you aren’t gaining much with that kind of risk,” University Police Capt. Steve Johnson said.

The bill is the second counterfeit $1 bill found on campus in the past month. The first was discovered in the postal center in Coffman Union.

In other police news

University police photographed a graffiti tag reported by a Facilities Management employee behind Sanford Hall on Thursday.

The case is inactive, and police have no suspect information, but the photograph will be kept on file.

Johnson said if a suspect is caught making the same tag, authorities can aggregate the crime.

“It’s been done in the past,” he said. “That’s why we take pictures of this stuff.”

When police apprehend people with large markers or spray paint, they look for fresh graffiti in the area, which can lead to arrests and further citations from archived photos, Johnson said.


A student on the West Bank called University police Thursday after watching someone walk to a car and drive off carrying a handgun.

Johnson said officers pulled the car over with their guns drawn only to discover the gun was fake.

“They had their weapons out just in case; they didn’t know why he had the handgun,” he said. “No one was hurt and apologies were probably made at the end of the stop.”

Johnson said the department will not create a new response policy to gun calls when the state’s new “conceal and carry” law takes effect.

“I think we’d still respond and check on those situations regardless of the law,” he said.


Monday morning, staff at Pattee Hall reported to police a banner hanging above the front door had been stolen over the weekend.

The banner was approximately 3 feet by 8 feet and read, “What would you do if anything were possible – and if you knew you could not fail?”

The banner was dedicated to the memory of Mary McEvoy, a University educational psychology professor who died with Sen. Paul Wellstone and six others when Wellstone’s plane crashed in October.

The banner had been wired to four bolts and had been removed without doing any damage to the building, according to the police report.

The officer checked the surfaces around the door but said they were too dusty to yield fingerprints, according to the police report.

The case is inactive, pending new information.

Rocky Thompson covers police and crime. He welcomes comments at [email protected]