Toyota Dealership Employees Find (And Return) $50,000 to a Forgetful Florida Man

BY Scott C. Benjamin / POSTED June 30, 2009
Hammerbrook - City can this really be true?
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What would you do if you found $50,000 in a box? Central Florida Toyota's employees did the right thing. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Just last Friday, Susan Jacobson, an Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer, reported that a 32-year-old Osceola County, Fla., man who “accidentally left $50,000 at a south Orange County auto dealership” has stepped forward to claim his cash. Sure, it’s remarkable that the money made it back to its rightful owner, but how can someone “accidentally” leave behind $50k at a car dealership? Well, here’s what happened…

The man, whose name wasn’t disclosed in the article, had been saving for two years to buy his wife — who happens to be pregnant — a new van. Seems pretty noble, right? Well, I guess the man wanted to keep his savings close, because while he was at Central Florida Toyota in Orlando to get his aging Toyota Camry serviced last Monday, he decided that he didn’t want to leave that much cash unattended in the car. Normally, this would be a good move; however, he somehow determined that it would be much safer in a GPS box (Garmin-brand, according to Jacobson’s article) which he then accidentally left at the parts department counter.

Seriously? He inadvertently left $50,000 in a cardboard box on a service counter? Now, I don’t know about you, but if I happen to have more than $50 in my wallet (which is extremely rare, if you know what I mean), I feel like I should probably move it to my front pocket…just in case. A little paranoid? Sure. But then again, I’ve never left 50 grand at a car dealership now, have I? (No, I haven’t.)

On the following day, remarkably (and much to their credit), the dealership employees who found the misplaced GPS box stuffed with cash turned it over to the General Manager, James Farrell, who contacted the local Sheriff’s office.

Once he realized what had happened, the absentminded 32-year-old man returned to the Toyota dealership to find the missing box. They sent him to the Sheriff’s office where he was apparently able to describe the packaging and the money within well enough to make the claim. Jacobson’s article states that the cash was “wrapped in $10,000 increments, secured by rubber bands and in $100 bills.” That’s pretty specific. I’m sure they knew they had the right guy.

Anyway, it’s good to know that there are still some good people out there, like the employees at Central Florida Toyota, who follow a code of honor when it comes to situations like this. As for the man with the money, I still can’t believe that he was carrying so much cash. It just seems dangerous, doesn’t it?

Maybe he should have invested his money, like Stan. Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a weak connection, but I really do love that clip. Annnd it’s gone! Good stuff.

More related stuff:
Toyota Sports Cars
How the Toyota Camry Works
How Garmin Updates Work
How GPS Receivers Work
HowStuffWorks – Business & Money Channel

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