Waitress Sues Cops for $12K 'Gift' From Diner

Minnesota police confiscated what they say is drug money

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 5, 2012 11:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Minnesota waitress who says a customer told her to keep a box with $12,000 in it has sued police who later impounded the cash as suspected drug money. Stacy Knutson of Moorhead filed a lawsuit asking that the cash be returned to her. She said she believes the money was meant as an anonymous gift from someone who knew that she, her husband, and five children were struggling financially. "I do know that the person gave me what was in that to-go bag," Knutson wrote in the lawsuit filed last month. "Thus as I understand it, it is mine."

The lawsuit says Knutson was working at the Fry'n Pan restaurant when a customer left behind a takeout box. When she tried to return the box, the lady said, "No, I am good, you keep it." When Knutson opened the box, she found three wads of bills wrapped in rubber bands. But though she desperately needed the money, she decided to call police, her attorney said. Officers told her to wait 90 days in case someone claimed the money. No one did but police still refused to return the cash, saying it was being held in a drug investigation because it smelled of marijuana.

A woman says a customer gave her a to-go box that contained $12,000, and she wants police to give it back.
A woman says a customer gave her a to-go box that contained $12,000, and she wants police to give it back.   (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)
A Minnesota waitress is suing police to return the $12,000 she says a customer gave her. Cops suspect it's drug money, and have impounded it.
A Minnesota waitress is suing police to return the $12,000 she says a customer gave her. Cops suspect it's drug money, and have impounded it.   (Getty Images)
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