A Hartselle man is accused of trying to pass off fake $100 bills at yard sales in Decatur.
Jeremy Chatmon is charged with four counts of possession of a forged instrument after police say he tried to use “replica” money.
WAAY 31 spoke with yard-salers in Decatur about the crimes.
“Usually, when people come to yard sales, they want everything as cheap as they can get it," Phillip Steeples said. "A dollar, 50 cents, 75 cents.”
When it comes to yard sales, Phillip Steeples is a pro. In fact, he had one in his own front yard just a couple of weeks ago.
“It was pretty slow. We really didn’t get much at all," Steeples said. "So, we just packed it all up and we’ll try it one more time. Then, if it doesn’t work, we’ll donate everything.”
And that's why Steeples was shocked to hear that anyone would use fake money for things that are usually sold for dirt cheap.
“People are hurting for money sometimes when they have yard sales," he said.
Steeples told WAAY 31, while he may not have made a lot of money at his yard sale, it’s better than being handed fake money—which is what Jeremy Chatmon is accused of doing.
“If you see a $100 bill at a yard sale and they’re trying to buy a $5 item, that’s a red flag there, big time," he said.
And, now, Steeples says he’ll be keeping a closer eye on any cash he touches.
“I’m going to check my money. I don’t care who it’s from," he said. "Even if it’s from my kin people, I’m still going to look at it.”
And that includes money from his brother, who came to his last yard sale.
“Me and my wife were looking for stuff. We actually just moved down here to Decatur and we bought a few things," William Steeples said. "Two or three dollars. Just a few little odds and ends and whatnots.”
“If I think it looks a little suspicious, I’m going to get the money before I give them the item. So, if that money doesn’t look right, they’re not going to get the item. I’ll just give them the money back and send them on their way," Phillip Steeples said. "But if it’s counterfeit and I know it is, then I’m going to call the police and turn them in.”
Chatmon is in the Morgan County Jail on a $120,000 bond.
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