LONDON – When a British couple left a few boxes in a waste and recycling center a few weeks ago after clearing a dead relative's house, they left without a clue they had really left behind.
There was 15,000 pounds of cash in one of the boxes – almost $ 20,000.
Happiness for the couple, according to a statement released by the police on Friday. An honest employee of the waste center made sure the money returned to them.
When the team at the recycling center in Midsomer Norton in south-west England suddenly came to, the inexplicable box with hundreds of £ 20 notes in a place where garden waste, broken furniture and electrical appliances are the usual fare started with a call to the police.
Then, using technology and a little ingenuity, they tracked down the couple who had inadvertently left the money behind and who turned out to live in the coastal town of Burnham-on-Sea 27 miles away.
First, the staff ransacked the dump's CCTV material until a man was found in front of the camera and left the box behind.
After seeing him on a video returning to his car, the workers matched it to the license plate that was automatically scanned by cameras that track all vehicles that drove into the depot. And the police soon tracked the owner and address of the car.
Without revealing exactly what was discovered, the Avon and Somerset police interviewed the couple at their home and at a police station until they were satisfied with their report
"The couple no details of the discovery were communicated, "said David Bowen, a police officer who had worked on the case, in a statement on Monday. Once questioned, there was" no doubt "that the money was theirs. A police spokeswoman said the couple were in their mid to late 60s and didn't want to be identified.
The family was "shocked" and "horrified" when they learned of the considerable amount of cash that they thought was worthless of items.
But the couple were not completely surprised: they told the police that the dead relative had a habit of hiding money in the house.
As for the staff at the recycling center, although the city police say that anyone who finds valuable property should "reasonably ask" to find the owner, the workers in this case became responsible for their actions and detective work praised who went beyond expectations.
"Without their careful attitude, integrity, and support, the family would never have found the money found, and we could not have given it back to them, especially not in time for Christmas," the police said.
Police announced on Monday that the couple had given the employee who found the money a reward – and who would have been in line to claim it if the owners did not get it within six Weeks would have been found – but not specified what it was.
The municipal council responsible for the recycling center announced on Monday that the worker who made the discovery was not available to speak to the news media. Instead, the city council said in a tweet that the employee had "a well-deserved Christmas break".