California man returns $125K dropped from armored car

Fri May 30, 2014 11:10pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A California man who found a bag containing $125,000 said he returned the cash to the armored truck company that accidentally dropped it because it was the "right thing to do."

Joe Cornell, 52, told the Fresno Bee newspaper he saw the bag of cash fall out of the back of a Brinks armored cash transport car as it drove over railroad tracks in downtown Fresno on Thursday afternoon.

Cornell, who was working in the lot of a Salvation Army location as part of a substance abuse rehabilitation program, told the newspaper he recovered the bag and found it stuffed with hundred dollar bills.

"I started crying and shaking," Cornell said. "Everything was going through my mind, the good devil/bad devil thing," he said.

Cornell made up his mind to alert his boss at the Salvation Army and the pair called Fresno law enforcement authorities who helped facilitate the bag's return to Brinks.

The Virginia-based company could not be reached for comment Friday, but a spokesman told the Fresno Bee it had thanked Cornell for his honesty with a $5,000 reward and another $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army.

For Cornell, deciding to give back the cash became a simple decision.

"They're going to back-track," he said of Brinks officials when they realized the money was lost. "There are cameras everywhere now. You'd be doing federal time. And it's the right thing to do."

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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Comments (6)
Sonorama wrote:
What an upstanding man, and he was in rehab too. Really an example to us all.

May 30, 2014 11:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SixthRomeo wrote:
Do “Federal time” for found money, says Brinks? Cash? First I ever heard of this.

May 31, 2014 2:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Big2Tex wrote:
Definitely not an Obama voter. Honest, decent, law abiding, humble…all of those qualities lacking in Washington.

May 31, 2014 7:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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