Police arrest man accused of using fake $100s at Salt Lake City, West Jordan grocery stores

Salt Lake City Police vehicle. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 21-year-old man accused of making purchases with counterfeit $100 bills at grocery stories in Salt Lake City and West Jordan has been arrested.

Semaj Shorts, 21, was taken into custody Thursday for investigation of seven counts of forgery, a third-degree felony, following a series of purchases with fake $100s at Smith’s grocery stores over the past week.

On Dec 16, Shorts was captured on surveillance video using four fake $100 bills to buy gift cards at an undisclosed Smith’s store in Salt Lake City, according to a probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court.

Later that same day, video from another Smith’s in Salt Lake City shows him using fake $100s to buy an Xbox, police said.

On Dec 18, police say Shorts was captured on video using four phony $100s to purchase gift cards. He then went to another Smith’s and used a fake $100 to buy a gift card, the arresting Salt Lake City police officer states in the affidavit.

Later that day, he went back to one of the Salt Lake City Smith’s stores and returned the Xbox for cash, court documents state. He also tried to buy a gift card with a fake $100, but the employee refused to accept it, the statement continues.

On Thursday, Shorts was at a Smith’s in Salt Lake City and tried to cash a money order that police say had been purchased with the counterfeit bills a short time earlier at a Smith’s store in West Jordan.

He was arrested shortly after with two fake $100 bills in his wallet, police said. The serial numbers on the $100s in his wallet also matched those on the bills passed at the Smith’s stores, according to the probable cause statement.

“The bills were not the correct color and were obviously fraudulent,” the arresting officer states.

Shorts told police he didn’t know the $100s were fake and that he “just found them,” the statement continues. He also provided police with a fraudulent Utah driver’s license, court documents state.

Police say Shorts has active warrants in three states for forgery. hey was booked into the Salt Lake County jail.

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