FAIRFIELD, Conn. — It’s not a secret anymore: Officers who staked out Victoria’s Secret believe they have caught the young men who have been passing counterfeit bills at the downtown lingerie shop since January, Fairfield police said Monday.
A store manager called police because she believed one of the culprits was in the store Saturday around 5 p.m., police said.
Officers arrived and questioned Ishmael Culzac, 18, of E. 98th Street, Brooklyn, N.Y., and then caught up with Joseph Abankwa, 19, of Concorse Village, the Bronx, N.Y., and and Hayale Smith, 19, of Bronxwood Avenue, the Bronx, N.Y.
It is believed the teens passed a total of $1,200 in poor quality counterfeit bills — some with the same serial number — at the Post Road shop, police said.
The manager turned the bills over to police and identified all three of the suspects, police said.
The merchandise they purchased was tracked to other Victoria’s Secret locations in Connecticut and New York, where the men are believed to have returned the items for cash, police said.
Abankwa and Culzac were each charged with sixth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and first-degree forgery. Abankwa was released on $5,000 bond and Culzac was held on $5,000 bond, police said.
Smith, who originally provided a fake name to officers, was charged with fifth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny, first-degree forgery and interfering with an officer, police said. He was released on $5,000 bond.
All three teens are due in court on April 7.