Woman passes fake money at bake sale


Cotati police have identified a woman who is suspected of paying for baked goods with a counterfeit $100 bill Monday and are still looking for her.

Police identified the woman as 41-year-old Michelle Marie Kruse.

Kruse has a history dating back to 1995 of misdemeanor and felony convictions for petty theft, receiving stolen property, burglary, forgery and making or possessing counterfeit bills, according to Sonoma County Superior Court records.

Most recently, she was charged on June 26 with misdemeanor forgery and making unauthorized paper money on March 27. She failed to appear at her arraignment today.

Cotati police said she used a counterfeit $100 bill to purchase baked goods as part of a Rancho Cotate High School music program fundraiser at a booth in front of Oliver’s Market in Cotati.

Kruse received $80 change, walked toward her vehicle and drove quickly away when she saw a Rancho Cotate High School student approaching her, according to Cotati police.

The student noticed the $100 bill was fake and tried to contact her as she got in her vehicle, police said.

Police, who earlier this week released photos of the suspect, said they believe Kruse is driving a Honda Accord with chrome wheel rims that recently were painted black.

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