South Jordan woman pleads for help after man buys jewelry with counterfeit bills

Posted at 7:04 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 21:04:52-04

SOUTH JORDAN – South Jordan Police are looking for a man who purchased jewelry from a woman using counterfeit bills. Thanks to a surveillance camera, they got a good look at the suspect.

Jill Smith’s door bell is connected to her home surveillance camera. The device came in handy October 15 as she waited for a customer to purchase a ring she was selling online.

“He called me and said, 'Hey, I saw this ring. I'm interested. I want to come take a look at it,'" Jill Smith said.

She texted him her address, and within the hour he was at Jill’s front door.

Once inside, he handed her $400 in cash – or so she thought.

“As soon as I pulled it out, I could feel that it wasn't quite right,” Smith said. “It didn't have the watermark. It didn't have the security strip.”

Police confirmed the eight $50 bills were in fact fake. But before Smith had realized it, the guy was already gone.

Surveillance video shows him running off to his car parked down the street.

“I've done this for years and nobody has ever even shorted me,” Smith said.

South Jordan Police are checking pawn shops and jewelry stores for the stolen ring. In the meantime, they’re hoping the public can identify the suspect. He’s described as a white male with glasses, who stands about 6-feet 3-inches tall and weighs around 300 pounds. Jill says he had tattoos on his arms and calves.

Police urge people to be careful when buying or selling something online.

“Make sure your method of payment, especially if you're gonna take cash, that you know what you're looking for, or at least check it prior to just giving your property up,” said Lt. Matt Pennington of the South Jordan Police Department.

Since the incident, Jill continues to sell jewelry online and meets with customers in her home. But she’s taking some precautions. A security camera now sits in her living room.

“I never thought I needed to be, but apparently they're out there," Smith said. "People that are going to take advantage of you will do it.”

If you recognize the suspect, or have any info that could help South Jordan City Police, give them a call at (801) 840 4000.