California man returns $125,000 dropped from armored car

  • Reuters
  • Updated: May 31, 2014 21:02 IST

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."

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