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
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)

(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.

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Apr 6, 2012 2:53 PM CDT
Does anyone know how many $100 bills have traces of cocaine on them? The cops and rub anything they want on them.
Apr 5, 2012 9:07 PM CDT
If anyone were ever to give me any amount of cash, You can be sure that the first thing I will do is "donate" any leftover change to the cops!
Apr 5, 2012 7:57 PM CDT
I would think it would be up to the Police to PROVE that this cash is ill gotten profit.... Otherwise it's just a large tip.... She must have kept those coffee cups topped off...