After counterfeit $100 bills started popping up Sunday, Peru police took two suspects into custody, and then released them — for now, said deputy chief Bob Pyszka.

“We have two suspects that have been identified,” Pyszka said. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Pyszka said he could not release much information Monday, but said the department confirmed fake $100 bills showed up at at least three businesses. He said in those cases, the suspects entered stores, used the phony money to buy small amounts of food, and left with the change.

La Salle police investigator Mike Smudzinski on Monday had on his desk two fake $100 bills, both printed on top of other U.S. currency. He held one up to the light and showed the strip and an outline of Andrew Jackson’s face on the side but a prominent reproduction of Benjamin Franklin in the middle.

In his refrigerator, he had taco meat and tortillas recovered from the suspects. Smudzinski said the items had been purchased at a downtown La Salle business. He said he thought there were bills passed at up to eight businesses in Peru.

Craig Sterrett can be reached at (815) 220-6935 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_NewsEditor.

Bureau County