Police have made four arrests in two separate incidents relating to people allegedly using fake bank notes in Auckland.

In the first incident, one woman was allegedly found with $12,000 worth of fake bank notes. In the second, a man’s attempt at passing a counterfeit bill led to a theft and fleeing driver incident.

On Thursday, police took three people into custody following complaints in Warkworth and Ōrewa.

Waitematā north area prevention manager senior sergeant Roger Small said forged bank notes had been handed over to staff, with legitimate currency being handed back as change.

“All were sitting in the same parked vehicle in Warkworth, which we had identified as a vehicle of interest connected to earlier offending.

“Of the five people in the vehicle, three were identified as having allegedly used counterfeit bills.”

Small added one occupant of the vehicle had $12,000 worth of fake notes hidden in her undergarments.

A 37-year-old man was due to appear in the North Shore District Court today charged with possessing a forged banknote and using a forged document.

Charges were pending for two women aged 33 and 25.

In the separate incident, police were notified of a theft from a store in Whiteacres Drive in Sunnyhills at 11.16am.

Counties Manukau East Area Commander, Inspector Rod Honan, said a man had allegedly attempted to pay for tobacco products with a counterfeit note.

“The shop worker recognised the bill as a fake and refused to accept it.

“The offender has then stolen the tobacco products and fled in a vehicle.”

Police were soon notified and began to make follow up enquiries at a nearby address in Pakuranga.

“Our staff were checking the registered owner’s address, when the vehicle in question arrived on scene,” Inspector Honan said.

“We signalled for the driver to stop but he took off at speed, and we decided not to pursue due to the manner of driving.

“The Police Eagle helicopter was able to locate this vehicle and direct Police staff to it in Māngere, who took a 33-year-old male into custody in without further incident.

“We also found a firearm in the back of this vehicle,” Inspector Honan said.

The man is due to appear in the Manukau District Court today charged with unlawfully carrying or possessing a firearm, restricted weapon or explosives, and failing to remain stopped for an enforcement officer.