Recycling center recovers $23,000 in cash that man accidentally tossed

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Only $320 was missing.

I would love to hear the internal ethical debate that determined that taking exactly $320 was the correct course of action.


Only $320 was missing.

That’s a good day in my book.


Maybe. When I daw the figure, my first thought was the lid had opened and some money fell out. It is a small amount compared to $23000 so it might fall into “incidental.losses” or whatever. Most stores allow the cashiers some level of loss, assuming it’s accidental miscounting rather than theft.

I would never have more than a few hundred dollars in cash around. But even then I almost have nightmares about losing that much. I’ve never lost more than $20, but the fear is there. The guy who lost this must have been terrified.


Two months ago I “recycled” my car keys in with the glass and I felt like the stupidest shit on planet fuck.

Now at least I feel the second-stupidest.


He should spend some of that recovered money on a neurologist.

I have a story for that. Let me see if I can condense it.

  • Safeway parking lot on a Saturday mid-winter in Colorado Springs
  • Notice money in bushes, drifting across the parking lot, and down the side hill where some kids are sledding.
  • Gather all of it I can, and give it to the store manager along with my phone number.
  • Get a call from a distraught woman saying $100 was missing, it was her rent money and she dropped the envelope in the parking lot.
  • Tell her I gave every bill I found to the manager, give her his name.
  • She doesn’t believe me, accused me of keeping it; I’m bugged about it for years after.

Well. Whomever took it is 320 dollars richer, and unlikely to be pursued for theft.

Low risk, low reward. Smart thieving.

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I’m not sure I believe that someone who forgot where his money was and threw it in the trash knows how much was there with any precision. Definitely not within $20.


“Life savings” = $23,000. Jesus, that is pathetic.

That sucks: no good deed goes unpunished. But why did you leave your phone number with the store manager?

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He asked for it, and I gave it to him.


Assuming he didn’t even open the shoebox (or it wouldn’t have ended up in the donation pile), I wonder if the $320 went missing before that fateful day. I’d have wondered if a family member, friend or guest might have helped themselves at one time or another.


:thinking: Well, isn’t that convenient?

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Yep. I held on to her $100 for 15 years because I knew, one day, I would need it to buy a pair of headphones.


And who puts a heavy shoe box in the recycling without opening it.

There is more to this story…

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Footage of the man’s nephew asking him about the misplaced money:


You don’t know how old he is or what line of work he’s in. No need to be nasty. Saving anything at all is an accomplishment these days considering 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense.


My great grandfather stored his life savings in a shoebox. Of course there was a fire…