Police in Torrance are searching for three people who purchased two iPads with counterfeit bills at a Walmart located near the Redondo Beach border in mid-January.
According to a news release from the Torrance Police Department, one person purchased the $499 iPads with one real $100 bill and at least 18 counterfeit $50 bills before leaving the store at 2015 Hawthorne Blvd. at about 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 17.
About 15 minutes later, two other people walked into the store and attempted to return the tablets; however, Walmart employees had already discovered the fake bills, police said.
The transaction was denied and Walmart recovered the iPads, but the suspects left before loss prevention officers could detain them, police said.
They fled northbound on Hawthorne toward North Redondo Beach and Lawndale.
Surveillance images captured of the trio show that the man who purchased the iPads was between 20 and 30 years old, between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall and weighed 150-180 pounds. He had short hair and wore a royal blue sweatshirt or pullover, jeans and tennis shoes.
The pair who tried to return the iPads for cash were a 20- to 30-year-old, 5-foot-6-inch to 6-foot black man weighing 160-200 pounds and an 18- to 25-year-old, 5-foot-3-inch to 5-foot-6-inch black woman weighing 100-120 pounds. The man had short hair and light facial hair, and he was wearing a black jacket over a red shirt and navy blue pants. The woman had short hair with a scar or shaved design above her left ear.
She was wearing a black Reckless Youth jacket with gray sleeves and red trim, a gray and white vertical striped shirt and gray pants.
Anyone who recognizes the suspects or has information is asked to contact the Torrance Police Department at 310-328-3456.
This is not the first instance of counterfeiting that local police have seen. Earlier in February, the Redondo Beach Police Department received a report of counterfeit money used to purchase shoes at a store in the South Bay Galleria.
The person who passed that counterfeit bill was described as a 5-foot-3-inch white woman in her 20s who weighed about 110 pounds.