Six True Stories of people Who Found Cash and Turned it In. Would You Do the Same?
Being smart with your money isn’t only about investing and budgeting. It’s also about getting to know your attitudes, beliefs and values around money. Not to judge them as right or wrong, so much as just to become familiar with where our choices are coming from. Most of us have considered the question “If you found a big bag of cash on the road, and no one was around to see, what would you do?” Here are 6 true stories of people who faced a situation like that, and the choices they made. What would you have done?
Found Cash Case 1: Woman finds $65,000 in cash sitting in the road.
In early October, Debbie Cole, 53, was walking to the break room at Pinellas County Florida’s Solid Waste Operations, when she happened to glance at the truck scale area where trucks weigh their garbage, and saw a clear plastic bag with a red stripe at the top, that had been run over several times. When she picked it up, she saw several stacks of cash, bundled and with labels such as “$10,000″. After being dazed a few seconds, she called her supervisor, who called her supervisor, who called the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies picked up the bag. The grand total was $65,000. They were able to trace it back to Loomis, the armored car and money handling company. The money had fallen from an armored car that had passed through about 30 minutes before Cole found the bag.
“It’s unclear how the bag inadvertently fell from the truck”, said Mark Clark, a Loomis spokesman. “We totally appreciate her being a good Samaritan. This isn’t something that happens. It’s embarrassing, quite frankly.”
“It just shows what a good employee, no, what a good person, she is,” said her supervisor, Janice Burns. “She was more concerned for the driver. She was saying, ‘I just feel bad about the driver.’” Cole earns $17 an hour. It will take her two years to earn what she could have walked away with in 5 minutes. Did she consider taking it? “Everyone keeps asking me that. To be honest, no. It didn’t even cross my mind.”
Found Cash Case #2 Man finds $640,000, actually returns it.
Way back in 2001, when $640,000 was real money, Mark Morant, 38, had a pretty good day. Mark, who had two jobs as a security guard, was walking one morning outside of the downtown Cleveland building where he worked when, three, 42-pound bundles of cash fell out of the back of an armored truck. What did Mark due? Well, he returned all $640,000 two days later, with the cash still wrapped in plastic. Did he think about keeping it? There were some hints that he may have seriously considered it. Ken Kennard, security director of the Federal Reserve Bank, said Mark called from a nearby pay phone before he arrived with the money to say he was “concerned and worried, and wanted to know what to do.”
“He said he had the money, and he was concerned that he may not have done the right thing. And he wanted some help and guidance as to what to do,” Kennard said. Kennard talked to Mark for a few minutes and persuaded him to come into the bank.
A word of advice, if you are looking for a neutral person to help you work through whether or not to return more than half a million dollars, probably the OWNER of the money isn’t the most unbiased confidant to listen to.
News reports about the missing money, statements that the money was marked, along with the FBI’s release of a description given by a witness who reported seeing a well-dressed man pick up the packages at the busy intersection all “put the pressure on this guy to turn it in,” FBI agent Stu Shoaff said. Apparently there are only a couple of well-dressed men in Cleveland leaving him easily identifiable.
Found Cash Case #3: Woman finds $20,000 sitting next to cash machine. Convenient banking at it’s finest.
Joi Lyn Honer was using an ATM in Brigantine, New Jersey a few months ago, when she found it easier to make a large withdrawal than usual. Sitting right next to the cash machine were a few extra crisp, clean $20 bills. A thousand of them to be exact. To add a little irony, she found the easy cash on Labor Day. She turned the cash over to the police. Yet again it was Loomis playing the part of accidental Robin Hood. The armored car company did give her a $500 reward for her honesty.
“I’m grateful,” Joi Lyn told The Press of Atlantic City. “I didn’t do it for the reward, but I think I have $500 that I didn’t have three days ago, and that’s really helpful to me.” Joi Lyn said she has no regrets.