Counterfeiters Running Rampant In Amarillo

Randall County District Attorney James Farren
Randall County District Attorney James Farren
Amarillo Police Sergeant Brent Barbee
Amarillo Police Sergeant Brent Barbee

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Hundreds of counterfeit cases are keeping Amarillo detectives busy, and they say the problem is not letting up.

Police say the a lot of times, theives are taking wallets in plain view from unlocked cars and from those are making fake IDs, counterfeit checks, and so on.

Right now, two Amarillo detectives have 300 counterfeit cases each on their hands.

The Randall County District Attorney says about six to eight percent of his felony cases, or 75 to 80 of them, deal with counterfeiting.

James Farrens says, "the percent is not that large but the amount of money involved is huge."

He says that is because the crime rarely involves just one person.   Rather, "a group of 6, 8, 10 people who are working in concert with one another can drain a bank account with $50,000 in a couple of hours," says Farren.

Police say as they get more savvy in fighting the rampant crime, so do the criminals.

Amarillo Police Sergeant Brent Barbee says, "it seems like every time we think there's a way to solve something based on the way we handle the funds, criminals usually find a way to get around it."

But Farren says you, too, can get around it by keeping a close eye on three things: "what they give away, what they throw away, what they expose themselves to on the internet."

Farren says he believes that reduces your risk of getting hit by 95%.

One more thing to note: Sgt. Barbee says about 90 percent of narcotics warrants have evidence of identity theft.