Deputies search for man who gave Boy Scout fake $100 bill

Man uses fake $100 bill to dupe Boy Scout

OCALA, Fla. – Deputies released a picture of a man who they say ripped off a Boy Scout outside a Walmart in Ocala.

Deputies said the man gave a Boy Scout, who was selling fundraising items at the Walmart on Highway 200, a counterfeit $100 bill when making a purchase from him.

The man then went to the Murphy Oil in the same parking lot and stole a woman’s purse from her car when she was paying for gas, according to deputies.

The victim, Riley Couture, said he was selling snacks for his troop when a man asked to buy trail mix, but claimed he only had a $100 bill on him.

The 12-year-old didn't know at the time that it was fake, and ended up selling him the trail mix and giving him $80 in change.

"This is money that they earn to do their summer camps, to buy their uniforms and activities," said Luis Lecha, Riley's dad. "It irritates me a lot."

He said he went into the Walmart to report what happened, and found out that same man tried to use the same fake $100 bill in the store, too. However, the cashier refused to take it.

"He took advantage of us, and I don't think that was called for," Lecha said.

He said he feels bad for Riley because now he's out of $100 and has lost his innocence, too.

"To be honest, I'm not wanting him to rot in jail for the rest of his life," Lecha said. "But at least don't steal from children."

Riley isn't letting the situation get the best of him. He was back out selling snacks Saturday, and plans to return again Sunday.

The woman whose purse was stolen said the man got away with more than $400 in cash, and some jewelry that was inside.

"There was a necklace there that my mom had given me, and my mom is no longer here," said the woman, who wished to remain anonymous. "(There was) a ring that she had given me that I cherished."

Anyone with information about the man seen in the picture is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 352-732-9111.

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