FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Two Lathrop High School students have been arrested and charged with making and passing counterfeit $20 bills.
Fairbanks Police Detective Sgt. Dan Hoffman said a 17-year-old boy was arrested Friday when he tried to pass one of the fake bills at a mall.
''When she (the clerk) said, 'This isn't real,' he grabbed it back and said 'I'll go get another one,''' Hoffman said. The clerk called police, who quickly arrested the boy.
His accomplice wasn't arrested until Monday. The 17-year-old friend confessed to passing the bills at area businesses, Hoffman said.
So far, police have recovered nine counterfeit bills from various businesses, including fast-food vendors at Lathrop.
Police have confiscated a computer from one boy's home and the Secret Service is checking it for forensic evidence, Hoffman said.
Felony first-degree counterfeiting charges against the boys have been forwarded to juvenile authorities.
''I don't know if they realize the seriousness of the crime,'' Hoffman said. ''The Secret Service is also pursuing the case.''
Hoffman said counterfeiting has increased in the last year because of advances in computer and printer technology.
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