Employees at Auntie Anne's pretzels at SouthPark Mall got suspicious Sept. 20 when a man visited the stand twice to make two small purchases, each time paying with a $20.
The second time, they checked the bill.
It was counterfeit.
Detective Lt. John Janowski said Ken Hunt of Cleveland is also believed to have passed a phony $20 that day at Claire's in the mall.
Hunt was arrested Nov. 26 on a warrant for criminal simulation.
Janowski said after both businesses reported receiving fake $20 bills that day, Strongsville police got a surveillance photo of the suspect and sent it to other area police departments.
Westlake police recognized the man and gave Strongsville detectives his name.
Janowski said a detective here then took a photo lineup to the mall and employees at both businesses identified Hunt as the man who gave them the counterfeit cash.
It is not known where Hunt got the fake bills or whether he made them himself.