So, three large plastic bundles of $20 bills totaling an estimated $3 million fell off an armored car in downtown Indianapolis, and the questions are: How many people tried to make off with as much cash as they could? And how many people tried to protect the cash until police could get there?
The answers are: A lot:
With the sorted bills lying unattended in the middle of the intersection, swarms of commuters pounced. Witnesses said as many as 25 people grabbed bills fluttering in the breeze.
"People were stopping their cars, picking up loads of cash and driving away," said witness Brieanna Patterson, 22. "People ran into the street and grabbed armloads, paying no attention to traffic. I saw two women walk by here real fast holding as much loose cash as they could in their arms against their chest."
Police credited a good citizen, 53-year-old Timothy Wentworth, with plugging the pilfering.
When Wentworth pulled into the intersection, "people were having a field day," he said, and he called police. Wentworth said the cash was in three large bundles, double-stacked and wrapped in plastic. "Kind of like cases of dog food," he said.
What would you have done? I think I would not have taken any money, partly from a sense of morality and partly from the certainty that if anybody was going to get caught, it would be me; so score one for me. On the other hand, I don't think I would have had the courage to stop and guard the money the way Wentworth did.
For the dangers of found money, see "No Country for Old Men," or this movie, in its own way even scarier. Remember, "You work for the American dream; you don't steal it."