We just got an email alert from SFPD’s Northern Station, saying that on last Friday, they were called to the Geary-around-Fillmore area, because:

The victim had sold her extra concert ticket to the suspect for twenty dollars. The victim then went to pay for a cocktail with the twenty dollar bill. The bartender, much to the victims surprise, told her it was counterfeit. Security contacted the police and the victim was able to identify the suspect who was still outside. The suspect was placed under arrest. The suspect was booked but it may be possible that there are others that worked with the suspect who are trying to pass counterfeit money in the area.

This is an interesting coincidence, because one other thing we’ve been thinking about today (thanks to SF Citizen), is lawyer Rodel Rodis‘ claim reiterated last week that then-Supervisor Gavin Newsom told him that

when he was still in the private sector when he brought the daily earnings of his restaurant (Balboa Caf) to the bank to deposit. He said the teller began counting the money and applied a counterfeit detector pen to a $100 bill which she found suspicious. The result confirmed that it was fake…

“So what happened next?” I asked Newsom. “Well, she returned the $100 bill to me and told me to be careful next time,” he answered.

As SF Citizen points out, it’s pretty hard to believe that a teller would just hand a fake 100 back to someone trying to pass it with a friendly warning — and the alert from Northern Station would seem to confirm that, when it comes to fake money, folks do not screw around.

So, was Rodis misrepresenting his exchange with the Man Who Would Be Mayor? Or did the then-Supe Newsom offer Rodis a prevarication in order to make some sort of point?

Sadly, we don’t have that answer for you today: Nate Ballard, who speaks for the Mayor, politely refused to comment on Rodis’ claims.

But, seriously, folks, look out for fake bills — clearly, they’re out there, and something tells us that passing one accidentally or on purpose will get you more hassle than a “be careful next time.”

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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