Police: Tempe ice cream shop owner helps nab Chandler counterfeiter

Posted at 3:07 PM, Mar 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 18:07:22-04

A Baskin Robbins Ice Cream shop owner and a citizen helped police capture a man accused of making fake money.

Tempe police report that on March 14, Christopher Lee Bettiga bought ice cream from a Baskin Robbins shop near McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue. The shop owner reviewed the $20 bill and realized it was a fake, due to "the lack of security features and improper texture."

She ran outside after Bettiga, but he ran away still holding the ice cream. A witness seeing the owner running after Bettiga managed to get a license plate number to his car and report it to the owner. 

Police located and stopped Bettiga a few blocks away and found him with $240 of counterfeit money. 

Police say they served a search warrant at his Chandler home near Kyrene Road and Chandler Boulevard, where, police say, they found 31 counterfeit bills, printers, and bleached money.

Bettiga is being held without bond since he was already on felony release for multiple crimes including burglary and trafficking in stolen property.

He’s now charged with 41 counts of forgery and possession of a forgery device.