ELKO – A man who allegedly stole a woman’s purse Wednesday was also seen cashing a counterfeit bill.

According to West Wendover Police Lt. Don Lininger, Christian Collazo, 21, went into a casino and stole a woman’s purse that was placed next to her as she gambled.

Police recognized Collazo from the casino video and went to his residence where they discovered the purse and all of its contents. Police had already been tipped off that Collazo had gone into another casino prior to the theft and convinced a bartender to break a bill that was later discovered to be counterfeit.

Collazo was arrested for grand larceny of less than $3,500 and intent to utter a fictitious bill, note or check. His bail was listed at $15,000.

Lininger said there has been a rash of counterfeit bills showing up in the community usually in the form of $20 and $50 bills.

“Most often the bills are located in the soft count,” said Lininger.

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He explained that the exchanges are usually being made in casinos when a waitress or dealer is very busy, not giving them time to really examine a bill. According to Lininger, the scenario is carried out then the perpetrator buys chips, gambles for a short time then cashes in the chips.

Lininger said investigation of the counterfeit money is ongoing.

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