Four arrested on suspicion of counterfeit money

Four people were arrested after using counterfeit money at the Mobil Gas Station on North Coast Highway this week, according to Laguna Beach police.

Rosa Mojica, 63, Tania Santoya, 33, Roberto Jose Rodriguez, 33, and a 16-year-old male juvenile were all arrested Thursday for burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of fraudulent items and counterfeiting. All four are from Santa Ana.

Mojica and Santoya had felony burglary warrants out for their arrest. Santoya had a warrant for $15,000 bail.

A station employee told the police that two men tried to use counterfeit money Wednesday evening. He noticed something was wrong and confronted them, but they fled in a 1996 Chevy Camaro. The attendant was able to get a partial license plate.

Laguna Beach police found the car, with the four suspects inside, on Pacific Coast Highway near West Street and initiated a traffic stop.

They found $5,000 in counterfeit money hidden in Santoya's pants, according to a press release.

Police said it appeared that they used a high quality printer and paper that looked like worn newsprint. They attempted to use the currency at mom and pop shops and fast food restaurants.

The United States Secret Service said there have "been a rash of these bills being passed in Orange and L.A. counties," according to a press release.

Detectives found more counterfeit currency at their home and items used for production.

All three adults have a criminal record including theft and burglary related charges.

They were transported to Orange County Jail on Thursday. The adults have also been placed on "hold" by immigration officials due to being illegal aliens.

The juvenile was taken to Juvenile Hall.

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