Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Immediately Stops Car After Realizing 'Trash' Blowing in Road Was Actually $14,000 Cash


If you found unattended money lying about, what would your initial reaction be? Whether the amount is large or small, the thought of keeping it probably flits through your mind.

One woman in Auburn, California, proved that she would do the right thing when faced with such a quandary. On April 3, Jill James was taking a detour while driving when she noticed a lot of what looked like trash blowing across the road. But as she looked carefully, she realized it was dollar bills.

Getting out of her car, and with the help of another woman who’d seen what was going on, the two collected the bills of various denominations, gathering around $14,000 in total.

James took it directly to a nearby police department, believing that the money could easily be a person’s entire savings.

Meanwhile, a man (who wished to remain anonymous to the general public for obvious reasons) had called into the Placer County Sheriff’s Office to report that he’d lost a hefty chunk of change. Apparently he’d placed a box of money on his car’s tire, forgot about it, and lost it as he drove.

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His questionable business practices were counteracted by James’ good nature, and the money was returned to its rightful owner.

“I was doing what I should hope someone else would do for me,” James said, according to KOVR.

“I got out thinking I was being punked or something. There was a little bit of wind so I was literally grabbing them off the ground and trying to hold onto them,” she continued. “I had so many in my hands I couldn’t fit them all.”

“The Placer County Sheriff’s Office had received a report of missing currency and we were aware of the call and were able to put two and two together,” Tucker Huey, a Placer County sheriff’s sergeant, said. “He was able to describe how he had it … his path was, and where he likely lost it.”

The Auburn Police Department posted about the incident on Facebook, commending James for her noble efforts and honesty.

“‘I am proud to work in a community with people like Jill James and am confident there are many more like her that would have done the same thing,” Lieutenant Victor Pecoraro said, according to the post.

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“The Auburn Police Department encourages people to be careful with their belongings, but knows life happens. We encourage the community to contact us when they lose property as we often locate it but have no way of identifying the rightful owner.”

James has used the opportunity to encourage people to “do the right thing,” because she knows that what goes around, comes around.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking