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19-year-old arrested for passing counterfeit $50 bills

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ABILENE, Texas -- A 19-year-old was arrested Tuesday for using counterfeit $50 bills to pay for items at a store in south Abilene.

Midajah Hinkle is being charged with third-degree felony forgery of United States currency.

The Abilene Police Department executed a search warrant in a house near Buffalo Gap on Tuesday and seized a cell phone.

Court documents show that the officer assigned to the investigation met with the manager at Pure Water Ice and Tea Company on 4500 Buffalo Gap, where Hinkle was previously employed.

The manager showed surveillance video to the officer of Hinkle passing two counterfeit $50 bills at Pure Water Ice and Tea Company on two separate occasions.

On Jan. 12 Hinkle went to the store to purchase a water refill that added to $1.50. Hinkle handed the counterfeit $50 bill to the cashier, who she knows and used to work with. The cashier gave her back $48.50. The bill was later identified as counterfeit during a count of the register.

Video footage showed Hinkle arriving at the store two days later and buying a cup of water and a snack bar, which added up to $4.23. Hinkle again paid with a counterfeit $50 bill and the cashier gave her back $45.77.

The officer in the investigation, according to court documents, was assigned to another case involving counterfeit $50 bills at a CVS on 4580 Buffalo Gap Road.

On Jan. 11, one day before Hinkle passed her first counterfeit bill, a young woman attempted to purchase $550 worth of gift cards. The cashier at the store noticed the bills were counterfeit, so the woman left the store and entered the passenger side of a Silver Honda Civic.

Days after all purchases the officer used surveillance footage to track the Silver Honda Civic the woman who tried buying the gift cards left in. The officer found the vehicle parked outside of Hinkle’s employment and later found it parked outside of her house.

Hinkle is being held at the Taylor County Jail with a bond of $5,000.

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