Victim: Man paid $15,000 in fake cash for Rolex in St. Augustine


Police are looking for the man who paid for a Rolex with fake $100 bills in St. Augustine.

The total amount of money for the watch? $15,000.

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It’s the latest example of counterfeit bills appearing in St. Johns County. Authorities there say its more common than it used to be.

David Hargis tells us he isn’t gullible, and has made plenty of cash deals before as a businessman and collector.

“I read people pretty well,” said Hargis. “I was a salesman and had to learn how to read people.”

Hargis says he wanted to sell his Presidential Rolex on Craigslist, and a man who called himself “Jason” was a willing buyer.

He says the suspect told him he wanted the watch to give as a Father’s Day present.

The two texted back and forth, settling on $15,000 for the watch.

They met at Starbucks inside the St. Augustine Target last week and made the transaction.

Hargis tells us there were no red flags for him at the time. He counted the money, and said the bills looked and felt real. They all had different serial numbers.

“I’m from California, and lots of young people have wads of cash,” said Hargis.

He’d later find out when trying to fill up at a nearby gas station: the $15,000 -- all in $100 bills -- was fake.

“I thought I was going to throw up,” Hargis said.

Police are now looking for the man Hargis describes as African-American, between 18 and 22 years old. He’s also around 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds, well-dressed. The man was even wearing his own Rolex Submariner watch.

“Jason” also told Hargis he was traveling from Miami to Jacksonville.

Police said that Target turned over surveillance video showing the suspect leaving the store.

“I figure the watch is gone,” Hargis said. “But I just want him caught and prosecuted so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”