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Counterfeit Cash Leads Hercules Police To Arrest 5 Suspects

HERCULES (CBS SF) -- One man's purchase at a Hercules convenience store using counterfeit cash led police to arrest five suspects on suspicion of possessing an array of stolen property and other charges, police said.

Around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, officers were called to the Cigarettes Cheaper store in the 1500 block of Sycamore Avenue on a report of two men attempting to use counterfeit money, police said.

Officers found the two suspects in front of a Big Lots store and identified them as 27-year-old Justin Conlon of Martinez and Brandon Thomas-Harris, 25, of Hercules, according to police.

Police discovered that Conlon was wanted on a $25,000 felony warrant out of Napa County for possession of stolen property.

Officers also found that Thomas-Harris had three counterfeit $20 bills, had used fake money to buy items at Cigarettes Cheaper and attempted to make another purchase using fraudulent cash, police said.

Police said a search of the suspects' vehicle turned up two large suitcases carrying stolen mail and various documents from 20 different cities and four counties.

Conlon was arrested on the outstanding warrant and for alleged possession of stolen property. Thomas-Harris was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, burglary, possession of counterfeit money and passing counterfeit money.

Both were taken to county jail in Martinez.

As part of the investigation into the incident, police served a search warrant the following day at a home in the 2300 block of Redwood Road, which is associated with one of the suspects, police said.

Officers met with two men and one woman at the residence and found what appeared to be illegal narcotics, stolen property and cash.

Police arrested Hercules residents Paul Pena, 36, Carlos Rivera, 63, and Silvia Solorzano, 54, on suspicion of possession of stolen property, drug possession and drug possession for sales, according to police.

The suspects were taken to county jail.

An investigation into all five suspects is ongoing.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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