A cashier’s suspicion that a customer handed her counterfeit currency led to a New York City woman being arrested Wednesday evening at Staples at 50 Richards Ave.
The cashier told police the bills felt strange so she called her manager. The manager placed them under a scanner, which showed they were counterfeit.
Store employees detained the woman, later identified as Jenny Balaguer, until police arrived.
The store's manager told officers Balaguer brought three items to a register worth a total of $327.54 – a Kindle Fire, a cover for the Fire, and cartridges of HP ink -- and attempted to pay for them with four $100 bills.
Police Sgt. Bruce Hume said Balaguer claimed the bills were given to her by her uncle as a Christmas present.
Hume said identification Balaguer provided the officers showed she’s a resident of Queens, NY. Asked why she was in Norwalk, she allegedly said she heard there was good shopping here.
Hume said Balaguer allegedly told officers she planned to stay at her aunt’s house, which was “nearby,” although she didn’t know exactly where.
Balaguer also allegedly told officers she came to Norwalk with a friend who was also shopping, Hume said. He said she then identified two other people she said had given her the bills.
Balaguer was taken into custody and an officer called the Secret Service. An agent there asked that she be held until he could interview her.
After speaking with Balaguer, the agent asked that the counterfeit bills be held in the police Property Department until she appeared in court, after which they would be turned over to the Secret Service.
Balaguer, 18, was charged with two counts of sixth-degree larceny and with forgery of a symbol of value. She was held on $2,500 bond and given a court date of Jan. 25.