HURRICANE – A Hurricane City woman was arrested Monday for passing at least 11 counterfeit $100 bills at five different locations throughout Hurricane City and Washington City.
On Jan. 21, officers responded to a report of a counterfeit incident at the Shell Station, located at 309 W. State Street in Hurricane, after a customer paid for an energy drink and cigarettes with a counterfeit $100 bill and collected the change, Hurricane City Police Detective Raleigh Morris said in a probable cause statement filed in connection with the arrest.
The bill had been taken to Zion’s Bank in a deposit and confirmed by the bank as counterfeit after it was run through the bank’s counterfeit machine.
Officers were able to identify the woman passing the counterfeit bill as 23-year-old Halei E. Ludlow through video surveillance footage, according to the statement.
While officers were at the Shell Station, it was reported that counterfeit bills were being passed at the Chevron Food Mart, located at 687 W. State Street in Hurricane, the statement said. A woman had allegedly pumped $5 worth of gas and paid with a counterfeit $100 bill and collected the change.
The woman returned later that day to the Chevron and purchased $2.21 worth of merchandise and, again, paid with a counterfeit $100 bill and collected the change. Witnesses and store surveillance footage confirmed the woman was Ludlow, Morris said in the statement.
Just before the first counterfeit report came in, Ludlow had been stopped by police as she was leaving the Hurricane City Wal-Mart, located at 3400 W. 180 North, on an unrelated traffic violation. During the stop, police noted a computer box in Ludlow’s vehicle.
Detectives responded to the Hurricane Wal-Mart and discovered that Ludlow had purchased a laptop using four $100 counterfeit bills.
Officers had also observed Ludlow had stopped at the Maverik gas station, located at 3400 W. 55 North in Hurricane, after leaving Wal-Mart. Maverik store managers were contacted and it was confirmed Ludlow paid for gas and a drink totaling $11.28 with a counterfeit $100 bill and collected the change, the statement said.
A warrant was issued for Ludlow’s arrest on Jan. 23 for passing eight counterfeit $100 bills at the four Hurricane City locations.
Additionally, Washington City Wal-Mart, located at 625 W. Telegraph Road, also reported that Ludlow paid for merchandise at their store using the counterfeit $100 bills on three separate occasions and collected cash back from her purchases, Washington City Police Detective Mike Sittre said in a probable cause statement filed in connection with the arrest.
While on patrol, Hurricane City Police Officer Chris Smith spotted Ludlow and knew that she was wanted for questioning by detectives, according to court documents. Smith detained Ludlow for questioning and she agreed to go with him to the police station for questioning.
After an interview with Hurricane City Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler, Ludlow was placed under arrest. Ludlow was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on Monday.
The Washington County Attorney’s office has indicted Ludlow with the filing of Informations charging her with eight third-degree felonies for the eight Hurricane City incidents; and three third-degree felonies for forgery and three class B misdemeanors for theft by deception for the three Washington City incidents.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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