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File photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet
File photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet

Counterfeit gift certificates seized

by - Story: 51734

One man is facing charges for allegedly passing forged gift certificates at Orchard Park Mall.

Nearly $6,000 in counterfeit Orchard Park Mall gift certificates were seized by Kelowna RCMP Monday after they caught one of two men suspected in passing the fake certificates at mall merchants.

Constable Steve Holmes says they were alerted by mall security that two men were passing the fake $50 certificates in a number of stores.

"Mall security was following the two men. When RCMP arrived, one of the men ran from police. The other, a 30-year-old man from Victoria, was arrested," says Holmes.

He says the man arrested was found to be in possession of some $3,000 in the fake certificates.

"The second man ran from police and dropped a bundle of the fake certificates into a hedge outside the mall. He was not caught. The bundle he dropped also contained about $3,000 worth of fake certificates."

Holmes says the fake certificates all had the same serial numbers, which is what is believed to have tipped off mall merchants they were fake.

Natalie Walstrom, marketing manager for Orchard Park, says the certificates were only accepted at a few stores before they were discovered as fake.

"The amount of merchandise given for the certificates is valued at under $500. Since all our GCs have distinctive security features, they were noticed pretty quickly by staff," says Walstrom.

The man arrested is facing charges of uttering a forged document and has been released on a promise to appear in court in March.

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