YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Mahwah police grabbed a trio of Bronx men trying to make a getaway and seized ten counterfeit $100 bills, along with $2,000 in cash that they apparently produced by passing phony bills, Chief James Batelli said this morning.
The three had just left a Franklin Turnpike pizzeria after passing a bogus bill around 8:15 last night when police got the call, Batelli said.
Officer Keith Iorio spoke with the business owner while Sgt. Michael Blondin and Officer Ryan Hill checked the area.
On the way to the pizzeria, Iorio passed a dark-colored vehicle with tinted windows and New York license plates, which his colleagues found at a nearby CVS.
The driver — identified as Christopher A. Moore, 27 ( above, left ) — “provided inconsistent statements to the officers and stated he had traveled to the area by himself,” Batelli said.
Hill found the other two suspects inside the CVS, the chief said.
Like Moore, both Bryan Guillermo, 28 ( above, right ), and 29-year-old Youraj Baljit ( middle ) denied any wrongdoing, he said.
After getting consent to search the car, the officers found several bags “filled with small-purchased items from different establishments,” Batelli said.
Officers checked other businesses and found a liquor store clerk who told them he turned the trio away after they tried paying for a small bottle of alcohol with one of several bogus bills.
In a trash bin near the CVS the officers found a shirt that one of the suspects tossed after leaving the pizzeria, Batell said.
“Also found was the pizza box and nine additional counterfeit $100 bills, which were seized as evidence,” he said.
“In addition, approximately $2,000 in legitimate currency was seized,” which Batelli said “is believed to be change they received when purchasing items in the stores.”
His officers also discovered a man who passed a counterfeit hundred at a local gas station Sunday night. They learned that he’d gotten it after making change with five 20s for a fellow patron at a nearby Dunkin Donuts, the chief said.
All three are due in Municipal Court tonight on charges of theft by deception and criminal simulation.
Additional charges were likely.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy MAHWAH PD
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