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Cambridge Samaritan finds $300 in cash, turns it into police

Cambridge Police report that around 8 p.m. on Friday, a person walked into Cambridge PD headquarters and "turned in3 $100 bills that he found on Hampshire Street at Portland Street." Police put the bills in an envelope for safe keeping.

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Comments

We did that at MIT when we found $500 and turned it over to the MIT Police. They didn't issue a press release.

The MIT officer who came to my office to pick up the money was Sean Collier and I'll never forget our conversation.

Nobody ever claimed the money and after a long waiting period the MIT Police called to say we could pick up the unclaimed cash (and we did).

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One of the few ways you can possibly say "hey, did someone lose some cash?" and have any hope of finding the right person (and excluding people who just want some free cash) is to withhold information about 1) exactly where it was lost and 2) exactly what denominations it was in.

Having given that information out, how are they supposed to verify the correct owner?

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Long ago, I found a $100 bill lying on the sidewalk just outside Union Square. I picked it up and then spent a while looking around trying to figure out if the person who dropped it was nearby (so I could return it), or if was being pranked or set-up somehow. After a couple minutes, I kept it and walked away. Part of it was that I was broke at the time and the bill was like manna from heaven. The other part is that I determined any attempt to return it to somebody would be doomed to fail. If I turned it in to the cops, I figured they would have taken real good care of it. If I had posted on Craigslist or similar, I figured "MONEY FOUND" might get some pretty dubious replies. In hindsight, I probably could have withheld the total amount and let the would-be claimant fill in the blanks, but at the time, I imagined having to ask somebody: "can you describe the $100 bill?"

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I thought it was generally assumed by all that if you drop cash, unless you return to the scene within minutes, its as good as gone. Its cash, its not trackable.

And I agree, trying to find someone who 'lost cash' would be pretty hard to find, unless it was with something identifiable or in a specific area. Some way to ID the owner properly. I just can't even think how you'd begin to do that.

So I'd like to think that found money is just "pennies from heaven". Its found money, its yours.

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and what I've sometimes done is watched for a minute to see if there's anyone scanning the ground.

If it's at the grocery store I raise my voice and ask "did someone drop their change?" and sometimes I've found the owner.

...although none of this has been in the last couple years, since fewer people use cash now. (More's the pity, though.)

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once. I was in a kayak. It was quite challenging picking it up, as bills that were floating quite comfortably on the surface seemed to sink at my approach. Who knows how much went to the bottom. I wasn't prepared to dive in to find out.

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Years ago, I found some cash at a ski area, brought it to lost and found, and later realized that was a stupid thing to do.

Last year, I found a wad of cash (<$200) on the road while cycling (it's amazing how much stuff you find while riding). I knocked on the door of the house it was in front of, and the owner said not his. So, I went to the police station, told them I found some cash, where I found it and gave them my phone number, keeping the cash. Later, I saw my visit in the police log.

I would love nothing better than returning the cash to it's rightful owner, but no way is some third-party keeping it.

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I will remember that the police might put out a press release next time I find money on the ground. Is that normal? I have never come across one before

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I will remember that the police might put out a press release next time I find money on the ground. Is that normal? I have never come across one before

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