HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — The owner of a winery in Hopewell says two customers ripped off the gift shop with a fake bill.
Surveillance footage from Sunday, Nov. 27, shows two people walking into Haley’s Honey Meadery on E. Broadway in downtown Hopewell. One person is seen wearing a blue hoodie while the other is wearing black.
Around 2:17 p.m., they approached the farm winery’s counter with items. Tonya Haley, the owner, is seen at the register in the surveillance footage. The two people told her they wanted to buy three jars of honey and a bottle of wine for their aunt.
“I said ‘great,’ so I went ahead and I rang it up and I opened the drawer,” Haley said. “And right then and there I was like; ‘something is not right.’ I had a gut feeling.”
They then handed her a $100 bill that was tethered and said ‘copy’ on it. Haley told 8News the bill looked real, but she immediately knew it was fake.
“I knew the $100 was fake, but I was afraid to confront them because it was only me,”
Haley said she called Hopewell Police officers, who chased them and were able to catch one.
Now she says she feels ‘defeated.’
The incident happened the day after Small Business Saturday. It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving and communities are encouraged to support small businesses and shop at these locations for holiday gifts.
“It’s unfortunate this happened, and it really makes me feel unsafe downtown now,” Haley said.
This isn’t the first time a customer has tried to commit a crime at her business. She said someone broke the knob off a door and broke into her building this past summer.
She said there are ways to detect fake bills and some businesses have started to refuse bills higher than $50. Haley hopes that there will be a larger police presence downtown to deter crime.
8News has reached out to Hopewell Police for an update.