Stained bank notes surface in Nanaimo

Stained bank notes from a July 11 robbery in Okanagan Falls have been surfacing at businesses on Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo.

Stained bank notes from a July 11 robbery in Okanagan Falls have surfaced at businesses on Vancouver Island, including Nanaimo.

The bills are from an ATM robbery during which a stolen Bobcat was used to rip off the front doors to an IGA market.

Surveillance cameras showed the Bobcat used to load the ATM into a van, which was later recovered with the remains of the money machine. Paint exploded from within the ATM, staining the stolen money.

Suspects are using the bills at coin-operated car washes, gas stations and vending machines where they can easily be converted into change.

Two men, caught on surveillance cameras, exchanged $900 for $1 and $2 coins July 26 at the Northfield Road Esso gas station. The station operator discovered the fraud when he later emptied the machine and found the stained bills.

About $800 in $20 bills was also exchanged for loonies July 25 at Victoria General Hospital, while a male entered a Victoria Mid Island Co-op gas bar and purchased $820 in gift cards using $20 bills.

On July 27, a bank in Duncan received more than $2,000 in stained money from a local gas station.

Two men suspected of the crimes might be driving an older model Lincoln. They are white, in their 20s or 30s and about 5’10” with short brown hair.

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.