There has been strong condemnation of a fraudster who has been circulating fake bank notes in the Ellon area.
His actions have been described by one local politician as “dreadful” and brought a warning to the business community from police.
It is sad to think there are such people out thereCllr Gillian Owen Ellon and District
One of the premises which fell victim last Saturday was the New Arc Charity Shop in Bridge Street, where a man is reported to have bought two items totalling a £1 using a fake £20 note.
Keith Marley, who runs the shop with wife Pauline, said: “It is galling that on one hand we are working hard to fundraise on one side, and getting money stolen on the other.”
A police spokesman said: “We are following up three outstanding complaints from premises in Ellon, all about handling £20 notes, and would ask the public and the business community to keep its eyes open for thefts of this nature.”
Ellon and District Councillor Gillian Owen expressed her shock at the nature of the theft.
She said: “It is really disappointing that someone could knowingly do such a wicked thing to any business, but especially to a charity.
“It is sad to think there are such people out there. I just hope they are brought to task.”
Fellow councillor Rob Merson was similarly shocked at the crime.
He said: “It is dreadful when someone takes advantage of goodwill, and particularly despicable when a charity is defrauded of their funds.
“This is clearly someone with a supply of counterfeit notes, and is passing them off deliberately.”
Mr Merson encouraged shop owners to take advantage of ultra-violet markers to identify fake notes.
The man believed to be responsible for the fake notes is understood to have approached someone at a bus stop to exchange two £10s for a £20 note.
He was also reported to have been in Newburgh on the same day.