MICHIGAN CITY — While clerks at most stores are trained to spot counterfeit currency, automatic tellers apparently aren’t, and that’s how a couple of them managed to pass off six fake $100 bills at Meijer.

Michigan CIty Police were notified on Thursday of the incident, which happened over a span of several hours on Feb. 4 at the Meijer grocery on Franklin Street.

It started about 8:20 p.m. when a man came to a self-checkout lane and bought a drink costing $1.69 and paid with a counterfeit $100 bill, according to a police report. The register took the bill and issued $98.19 in change. The man then met a woman and they left.

About half an hour later, the man and woman returned to the same register, where the woman scanned a lamp costing $23.99, paid with another fake bill and received $76.47. She then started a second order, scanning a puzzle costing $14.99, a frame for $13.29, and a jewelry box for $5.99, police said. She again paid with a fake $100 bill and was given $65.33 in change.

The couple left the store but returned about 9:10 p.m., when the woman scanned a package of brownies costing $4.99 and paid with a fake bill, receiving $95.01 in change. She then rang up a bottle of water valued at $1.79 on a separate transaction and was given $99.21 in change. Police noted the change was incorrect.

The woman used a total of $400 in counterfeit currency and left the store with $65.04 in merchandise and $334.88 in change, while the man used $200 in phony bills to get $23.68 worth of merchandise and $174.66 in change.

Police said all six bills had the serial number AB81778332D.

The man was identified through a theft from another Meijer store, but police said there was not enough of a description to determine if it is definitely him. He is described as a white, 5-foot-6 and 180 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. No description was given for the woman.

—From staff reports

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