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Suspects Accused of Passing Counterfeit Bills in Isla Vista

Sheriff's Department says several businesses were targeted

Jack Antonsen
Jack Antonsen

Four young adults are facing several charges, including counterfeiting, after bogus $20 bills surfaced in Isla Vista.

On April 16, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies took the first of several counterfeit bill reports involving businesses in Isla Vista.

Rebecca Shintaku
Rebecca Shintaku

In many cases, witnesses described those attempting to spend the fake money as young adult males driving a “silver sports car.”

Further investigation led to more information on the suspect vehicle.

On April 20, a sheriff’s deputy from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol spotted the car on El Embarcadero near Embarcadero Del Norte.

During the traffic stop, a search of the car turned up a counterfeit $20 bill.

Deputies arrested the driver, Rebecca Shintaku, 19, and her passenger, Jack Antonsen, 19.

Further investigation led to the arrests of Tyler Yarnell, 19, and Wan Xing Peng, who turned 20 on Friday.

Wan Xing Peng
Wan Xing Peng

All four are believed to have either passed or attempted to pass fake $20 bills to local businesses.

They face charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy. Antonsen and Shintaku face an additional misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana.

All were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail and were released two to four days later on their own recognizance.

Tyler Yarnell
Tyler Yarnell

With the help of the Santa Barbara Police Department, a search of an apartment in the 3000 block of Via Lucero turned up more fake bills and evidence of making bills.

Sheriff’s investigators continue to look for any other suspects and urge any business that may have been a victim to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 805.681.4150.

Victims of the counterfeit bills in Isla Vista include Déjà Vu, Freebirds, IV Drip, Pasta House, Six Pack Liquor and Subway.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.


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