Crime

3 arrested for passing fake $100 bills in downtown SLO, police say

Javier Diestra, 40, of Arizona was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, on suspicion of burglary, forgery, conspiracy and passing counterfeit bills. Original story »
Javier Diestra, 40, of Arizona was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, on suspicion of burglary, forgery, conspiracy and passing counterfeit bills. Original story »

The San Luis Obispo Police Department arrested three people Wednesday for allegedly using counterfeit $100 bills at several downtown businesses.

Police were called to Zoey’s Home Furnishings around 3:30 p.m. as one of the suspects tried to use a counterfeit $100 bill. Officers responded and found two of the suspects in Forden's attempting to use counterfeit money; a third suspect was found a little while later in the downtown area, according to a news release.

Detectives believe the suspects traveled from the Los Angeles area to San Luis Obispo, passing counterfeit $100 bills along the way.

Police arrested Javier Diestra, 40, of Arizona; Carmen Ramirez, 27, of Van Nuys; and Raul Ugarte, 20, of Reseda on suspicion of burglary, forgery, conspiracy and passing counterfeit bills. Bail for each suspect is set at $20,000.

Local police contacted the U.S. Secret Service to assist with the investigation. Eight local businesses were targeted: Zoey’s Home Furnishings, LuLu Lux, Moondoggies, Forden's, Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, Sherwin-Williams and Charles Shoes.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 781-7312.

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