San Fernando Valley : FUNNY MONEY

The robbers who hit a Woodland Hills toy store Tuesday weren’t just playing around, but some of their loot had limited value: They took toy money.

The two robbers burst into a Toys R Us store on Topanga Canyon Boulevard near Erwin Street on Tuesday night, brandished pistols and forced a store manager to open a safe. They escaped with at least $7,000 in cash, plus more than $7,000 in “Geoffrey dollars.”

“Geoffrey dollars,” which bear the portrait of the store’s giraffe mascot, are spendable only at the chain’s toy stores.

Seven hours later, a van passed a CHP officer on the San Diego Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass at a high rate of speed, said West Valley Detective Robert Johansen.


“That’s not too smart,” he noted.

The CHP officers who pulled the van over to cite the driver for speeding smelled alcohol and arrested Howard Simmons on suspicion of drunk driving, Johansen said.

Officers then found about $2,000 in the van--plus about $1,500 in “Geoffrey dollars,” he said.

Simmons, 28, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and is being investigated in connection with a string of robberies at Toys R Us stores, including outlets in Lancaster and Van Nuys. Police are still looking for another suspect.