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Intelligence-sharing by Marin Librarians Leads to Counterfeiting Arrest in Fairfax

Counterfeit twenty dollar bill

A man suspected of scamming Marin librarians is getting the book thrown at him.

Daniel Han Shi, 26, of San Francisco was charged with burglary, forgery and counterfeiting counts after allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at the library in Fairfax.

Fairfax librarian Margaret Miles called police Monday night after spotting Shi at her counter. Seconds earlier, she had received a chain email from other librarians about a man similar to Shi who was breaking counterfeit $20s to get smaller bills for the copy machine.

According to the email chain, the man had just been at the San Anselmo library 15 minutes before showing up at the Fairfax branch.

"I recognized him from the description," Miles said. "I thought, 'Oh my God, that's him.'"

The case developed rapidly Monday after a man tried to pass a fake $20 at the Marin City library. The man asked an assistant librarian to break the $20 into smaller bills so he could make copies off a flash drive.

The assistant librarian was Etienne Douglas, who happens to be a former bank clerk. He examined the crumpled bill and thought the cropping was off-center. He also noticed the printing seemed darker than normal and the ink rubbed off on his hand.

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