Robert Adams craved an ice-cold drink and a burrito after finishing his shift on a sweltering workday, but his empty wallet left him with two obvious choices: Stop at the ATM, or find a bag containing more than $17,000 in cash. While at an ATM on Monday, Adams looked down and discovered on the sidewalk a clear plastic bag containing receipts, checks, and $17,021 in cash, mostly $20 and $100 bills bound by a rubber band. The word "Chase" was printed on the bag, so Adams carried it inside the nearby branch.
"It's not my money. I shouldn't take it. I don't care if you put another zero on there, I wasn't raised to take money that isn't mine," says the 54-year-old, who credits his deceased parents with teaching him right from wrong. Adams figured a bank employee left it behind after restocking the ATM, but the bank told him the machine is filled from inside and the money didn't belong to the bank. Officials eventually traced the cash back to an armored truck company, and it was returned. The truck company has yet to decide if Adams will receive a reward. (Read more money stories.)