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Couple's Christmas Gift: $20K They Unknowingly Threw Out

Dump staffers found the money hidden in a box the couple had dropped off
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2020 7:30 AM CST

(Newser) – An employee who found the equivalent of $20,000 in cash at a UK waste facility could've made a claim to the money if its owners weren’t found within six weeks. Instead, the staffer ensured an unwitting couple were significantly richer in time for Christmas. The New York Times has the story from Midsomer Norton, England, where a couple had dropped off boxes at a dump after cleaning out the home of a deceased relative, who had a habit of hiding cash. Upon discovering that one box containing a household item also contained a separate box with stacks of bills, a staffer at the facility alerted team members, who called police, then analyzed CCTV footage to see who had left the money behind.

After using on-site license plate recognition cameras to identify a vehicle, officers interviewed a couple from Burnham-on-Sea, without revealing that anything had been found, until they were sure the money was theirs. "Shocked" that they'd unwittingly thrown out $20,000, the couple in their mid- to late 60s thanked the staffer who found the box with an undisclosed reward, per the Times. Police, meanwhile, praised employees' actions as going beyond the "reasonable enquiries" that would typically be expected. "Without their diligent attitude, integrity and assistance, the family would never have known about the money found, and we would not have been able to return it to them, especially in time for Christmas," a police statement reads, per Metro. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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