Honest people return $10,000 found in bag www.privateofficer.com
That was the case Wednesday when Kim Smith, 46, of Kearney, Neb., and her son Logan Potter, 18, found $9,620 in $20 bills lying on the street in north Kearney.
At first, Smith didn’t know exactly what it was the two drove on 48th Street in between Kmart and Target.
“It looked like a notebook like the kids carry in school,” said Smith who works at Kearney’s Red Lobster. “I’m famous for picking up stuff.”
So Smith turned around, and Potter picked up the dark-colored bag lying along the curb near Kmart’s north entrance. The bag was locked and had numbers and letters on it.
Smith, a self-described scavenger, and Potter took the bag home and tried to unlock it.
“I’m all the time seeing something in the road, and I’ll say, ‘Hey, what is that?’” Smith said with a chuckle.
After several attempts to unlock the bag, Smith cut it open and found the single 4-inch thick stack of bills wrapped in rubber bands. A tag inside the bag said the bag belonged to Rochester Armored Car service.
I just thought, ‘Holy cow. We just found a bag full of money,’” Smith exclaimed. “And I thought, ‘Oh, my God, there has to be $5,000 or $10,000 in here.’”
Smith and Potter started counting the money, but got too nervous about the quantity they were dealing with and called the Kearney Police Department.
“This is like the find of the century, but we’ve got to give it back,” Smith remembered thinking. “It was scary and an exciting heartbreak all in one hour.”
It isn’t known how the bag ended up on the street, and a spokesperson with Rochester Armored Car of Grand Island declined to comment. But Kearney Police Chief Dan Lynch said “good Samaritan” wasn’t a strong enough description for Smith and Potter.
“That’s a stroke of honesty that you may not find in every instance,” he said. “I think they did the right thing the right way.”
Wednesday isn’t the first time Smith has found something lying in the road. She has found wallets – which she’s returned – various tools, a Navy knife, two Game Boys, a sapphire bracelet and cell phones.
“I’ve just found all kinds of stuff,” she said with a laugh. “I’m a scavenger, and it pays off sometimes.”
Smith, who tries to set a good example for her children, never considered keeping the money.
“It was more of a scarier feeling to think about keeping it than it was to give it back,” she said. “It would’ve been nice to have. But that would’ve been too big of a secret.”
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