On the night of October 9, Juan Herrera and Willie Jones went to a strip club. They showed up at Dallas Cabaret on Harry Hines Boulevard at about 11:30 p.m., where they paid $20 for their cover. Herrera then went to the bar for drinks when the bouncer, Brian Rodriguez, stopped him. The $20 bill was clearly a fake and Rodriguez asked where he had gotten the money. Herrera said Jones had given it to him, but when Rodriguez went to ask him, Jones ran out the back door of the club and drove off.
Police showed up a few minutes later and arrested Herrera, who was carrying a couple of fake $50 bills and a fake $20 bill. They also arrested Jones, who for some reason drove back to the club. Both men were charged with forgery of a government instrument.
Their case may be cut-and-dry: Two guys want to see some titties but don't have any money, so they decide to print up some cash. Or maybe they were trying to launder bills as part of a larger counterfeiting operation. (Or, of course, they could be innocent.) Whatever the outcome, their case is part of a trend.
Since August, local strip joints have filed 11 reports with Dallas police of customers trying to pass forged bills. They don't appear to be related. Sometimes, it's someone slipping a $20 to the bouncer. In other instances, it's larger denominations. Just this morning, Dallas Cabaret reported that two men had tried to pass off a pair of $100 bills, which might have worked if they weren't noticeably waxy and if the security strip wasn't backwards. The men were able to drive away before police arrived, but they left six fake $100s lying in the middle of Harry Hines.
To be sure, 11 reported instances over four months doesn't constitute an epidemic, but compare it with the previous seven months, when Dallas police didn't receive a single report. I tried calling some of the frequent targets to see if they've seen an uptick or have begun reporting cases more aggressively, but no one picked up the phone at Dallas Cabaret or the Dallas Gentlemen's Club, and the woman at Beamers directed me to a generic email address.
So maybe this is a case of criminals targeting a business they see as deviant, a la some recent TCU research. Or maybe guys who counterfeit money just really like seeing titties.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.