OSWEGO — After police issued a warning to the public to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills last month, the Oswego Police Department Thursday announced an arrest in the case.
Richard M. Szymanski, 42, of Oswego, was arrested Feb. 27 and charged with first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor.
Szymanski was arraigned in Oswego CAP court and was released on his own recognizance on those charges but was immediately remanded, on a warrant out of the New York state parole department, Oswego Police Department (OPD) officials said. Szymanski is currently in custody according to online records.
Szymanski allegedly used counterfeit bills to make purchases on at least three occasions at three different local businesses. Police said they did not want to identify the businesses involved at this time.
At one of the businesses, employees did not initially realize the bills Szymanski had used counterfeit, but through “verification built within the bills” determined the money was bogus.
Szymanski was identified through eyewitnesses and surveillance footage from the stores.
Police didn’t comment on how Szymanski obtained the counterfeit money but an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding counterfeit money in the area is asked to contact city police. OPD officials said instances of false bills have been going up in the area since at least late February.
Szymanski was arrested on similar charges last June when he used a counterfeit $100 bill to make a purchase at Dunkin' Donuts, according to public records. At that time, police said three types of fake bills had been seen in different denominations and some of the bills had phrases like “use only for motion pictures” or “replicas” but could be mistaken for authentic money on a quick glance.