January 16, 2013

"[S]he noticed there were more bills, lots of bills, in the snow near the sidewalk, and she figured she had better call police...."

If you would call the police in this situation, would it be because that's the sort of honest, upright person you are or would it be because it was broad daylight and the bills weren't in a neat little bundle but spread out on the snow, in which case the activity of picking them up risks: 1. making you look suspicious (and somebody might call the cops on you), and 2. other people showing up and competing with you in the pickup (in which case, you might need police protection and you want to be the one to get your name on the found-money claim)?

23 comments:

Mitchell the Bat said...

Someone must have been transporting an old mattress on top of their minivan.

Nonapod said...

I like to keep my life as free from complications as possible so I would call the police if I found any substantial amount of money out in the open.

MadisonMan said...

I would not call the police. I'd collect all the money, then I'd call the police, and keep the money in my possession at all times (well, I'd probably bank it). If someone went to the police and reported losing it, the police would have my cell number.

It's a bad idea to give lost items to other people for safe keeping.

cubanbob said...

If no one claims the money after a reasonable period of time can she keep the money? Madman if you deposit over $9,999 in cash the bank reports the money to the IRS. The woman was probably right by notifying the police and handing it over pending someone claiming it. But then again the cops could come up with some civil forfeiture claim.

bagoh20 said...

Pick it up. Take it home. Get on that sugar daddy website and find some poor college girl to help out. I want to do good things with that money.

bagoh20 said...

Trusting government officaldom is a mental illness. If you give it to the cops, someone (not you) will find a way to take it by hook, crook or technicality. Don't be a sucker - it encourages corruption. Take it home, and the story ends there. If you want to do the right, thing then use the money to do that.

bagoh20 said...

If it by some strange chance it belongs to someone legally, you will hear about it, and can return it.

edutcher said...

Found a wallet once and turned it in.

The money was a temptation at the time, but I figured the other guy may have needed it just as much.

Ann Althouse said...

It was probably dropped by a criminal, in the midst of some excitement, so you might not want them coming after you.

Better to let it be known that the police have the money, in safekeeping, pending anyone claiming it, which they probably won't if they are criminals, which they probably are.

After a set amount of time, if no claim comes in, you get the money.

Ann Althouse said...

"Trusting government officaldom is a mental illness. If you give it to the cops, someone (not you) will find a way to take it by hook, crook or technicality. Don't be a sucker - it encourages corruption. Take it home, and the story ends there. If you want to do the right, thing then use the money to do that."

At the point where you're looking at all those bills, strewn across the snow in broad daylight, planning that far ahead and mistrusting the cops is probably not where you will go.

Now, if you picked up a roll of bills in the darkness...

Ann Althouse said...

This woman's story is in the news, and everyone wants her to get the money. I think she made the right choice in assessing risks and getting to keep the money in the end. We all want her to have it and we are watching.

And we're crediting her with unselfishness and honesty.

It's all good.

Nonapod said...

Anybody remember the movie A Simple Plan?.

MadisonMan said...

After a set amount of time, if no claim comes in, you get the money.

How often does this happen -- that no one claims the money? I know I'm a huge old cynic, but I'm just thinking a Police Relative shows up near the end of the time period, IDs the cash exactly, and claims it. Or you are told it's been claimed, when it really has been taken by the Police Union for Benevolent Activities.

ndspinelli said...

bagoh, having lived in Chicago I would agree w/ you in part. However, for all the shortcomings in Madison I think the cops here can be trusted on this. I would not have given the money to Chicago Police, I would give it to Madison Police.

ndspinelli said...

Nonapod, Great Flick!! If you like Billy Bob he has an autobio written w/ the help of Kinky Friedman. Billy is dyslexic but that's the LEAST of his problems. It's an entertaining read.

Patrick said...

Anybody remember the movie A Simple Plan?.

No Country for Old Men

rhhardin said...

A little searching around scattered bills on a bike commute turned up a pay stub in the weeds, and located the motorcyclist money-loser in the next town.

Larry J said...

dutcher said...
Found a wallet once and turned it in.


I found a wallet on the sidewalk in front of my house a couple years ago. The ID said it belonged to a young man from Utah. Rather than turn it in to the police, I Googled his name and found an email address. I sent him an email message and he was able to come pick up the wallet. He was visiting a friend and had placed his wallet on top of a car, then driven off. Tracking him down was a fun piece of detective work. No, I didn't accept his offer of a reward because he needed the money more than I did.

bagoh20 said...

" planning that far ahead and mistrusting the cops is probably not where you will go"

I have planned all this stuff out in advance. I practice picking up loose bills weekly, so that my movements are almost imperceptible. It looks like I'm tying my shoe, or sometimes with larger drops I appear to trip, fall down, and roll around in pain, but I'm actually rolling in dough.

It's not that cops are not trustworthy in general, it's just the wide web of people who will know about it, and the justifications they also will come up with for keeping it. Everybody has good reasons for keeping that money, and possession is 9/10ths.

rhhardin said...

If you want to donate the money to retire the national debt, just burn it.

That's a gift to the US Treasury.

Mr Evilwrench said...

Only wallet I ever found was in the street in front of my house. I don't know if there was any cash; I just looked far enough to find the name/address.

When I went there after my bus route to return it, I found she lived across the street from my school, and I'd driven right past her house an hour ago.

Not only that, I'd seen her around campus frequently, picking up her son, who was assigned to my route but didn't ride because they lived right across the street.

bagoh20 said...

I found a purse with ID in it once deep in the woods, but under a high mountain bridge.

I contacted the woman and she said it was purse-snatched from her over a year before. I found it over a hundred miles away, and she actually lived near me.

We fell in love, toured the world for 10 years had 4 children.

OK, I made up that last part, but that was how I expected it to go.

wyo sis said...

I probably wouldn't have thought of all the scenarios you mention. In fact I probably wouldn't have thought of any of them. I'd have done exactly what she did, but maybe not for the same reasons.