Police are investigating more than $500 in counterfeit $20 bills used July 21 to buy pre-paid credit cards and other small items at Stop & Shop at 25 Old Kings Highway North, according to Darien Police Detective Mark Cappelli.

The incident is believed to be part of a wider counterfeiting ring active in New Jersey that is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and New Jersey State Police, Cappelli said.

Police responded to the supermarket to meet security personnel on Friday, July 24, who said a bank had notified them that a deposit contained $540 in counterfeit $20 bills, Cappelli said.

The money was passed in two separate transactions by two men at 1:12 p.m. and 1:27 p.m. on Monday July 21, Cappelli said. The first man bought a $300 pre-paid Mastercard, a birthday card and Pampers Baby Fresh wipes, for a total of $317.95, Cappelli said. The second man purchased a $200 pre-paid credit card, a bag of Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish, Sunny-D lemonade, and Hershey Lancaster caramel cream candies for $217.95, Cappelli said.