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Those who picked up mystery money in Oklahoma City could face larceny charges

Police still don't know who lost a bag full of money on Interstate 40 near Meridian Avenue in Oklahoma City earlier this week. But they say those who picked up the money could face charges if they don't try to find the rightful owner.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: October 27, 2011
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You are driving down the highway when suddenly $20 bills start falling from the sky. What do you do?

Dozens of motorists along Interstate 40 on Monday decided to stop and grab as much as they could. Now they could face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, no one has come forward to claim the money, a good portion of which is in the hands of Oklahoma City police, authorities said Wednesday.

Dorinda Rose said she was driving west on I-40 about 2:45 p.m. when traffic in front of her began to stop near Meridian Avenue. Rose, who works for the American Red Cross and is medically trained, feared a traffic accident. So she stopped to see if she could help.

She found dozens of cars pulled over and people picking up handfuls of cash that were blowing across the road.

“There were people everywhere,” Rose said. “There were people running across the interstate dodging cars trying to pick up money.”

Rose said she immediately realized someone was going to miss such a large amount of cash, so she started collecting what she could.

She picked up a little over $400. But she had no inclination to keep it.

“Several people were talking about how they were going to get new shoes or pay their electric bills,” Rose said. “I said, ‘This money needs to be turned in.' They just ignored me.”

Rose turned in the money she picked up to Oklahoma City police. A paramedic with the Emergency Medical Services Authority also turned in a significant amount of cash, along with the empty First Fidelity Bank bag that likely held the money before it spilled onto the highway.

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