For two mean attempting to pass off fraudulent currency in Sarasota last night, three tries was not a charm.
Zachary Brewer and Eric Brittain, both of Sarasota, were arrested early Friday morning for using counterfeit $100 bills at several locations on Siesta Key and in Sarasota County, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office announced.
According to the police report, the men went into a 7-Eleven on Siesta Key Thursday night. Brittain paid for multiple items with a counterfeit $100 bill, but Brewer’s attempt to make a purchase with fraudulent money was denied by a clerk.
Twelve minutes later, the two men went to another 7-Eleven on Siesta Key. Brewer made a purchase with a counterfeit $100 bill, which the store later identified as fraudulent. An employee at the store provided surveillance video and still images of the two men. The bill was clearly fraudulent and failed a test with a marker provided by the store, according to the report.
Fifteen minutes later, the two men went to a third 7-Eleven located on South Tamiami Trail. Brewer attempted to buy two energy drinks with a fake $100 bill, but the staff identified the money as counterfeit. Brewer and Brittain left the store, but staff contacted law enforcement and turned over the counterfeit bill.
Brewer, whose vehicle matched the description given by employees at the store, was pulled over during a traffic stop that night. Three employees from the three 7-Eleven locations positively identified Brewer as one of the suspects, and his clothing matched the surveillance video.
Brewer said he never went to Siesta Key at any point during the night, and said he just dropped off his friend in the area of Hillview Street. Officers then went to that area to look for Brittain and saw him exiting an apartment. He was also wearing clothes that matched the surveillance video. Witnesses from the stores identified Brittain as one of the suspects.
The men were each charged with three counts of uttering a forged bill and violation of probation. Brewer was also charged with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Brittain, who has been arrested more than a dozen times for offenses including cocaine trafficking and child neglect, is classified as a prolific offender.
Contact David Conway at [email protected].