'It's like rained money': Co-workers discover cash flying around Victoria street
CENTRAL SAANICH – Chelsea will never forget the first – and last time – she stole something. "It still haunts me to this day," she says sincerely.
It happened when she was way younger than the childhood photo she shows me – when she took way more candy than she should. "I think I claimed 25 cents worth," she admits. "And it was probably a dollar."
Decades later – rather than guilt – Chelsea boarded a Waste Management truck feeling nothing but tired. "Exhausted!," she says. "I don't know how [the drivers] do it!"
Chelsea – who's an account manager – was doing an early morning ride-along with a driver named Mike to become familiar with all aspects of the operation. They were driving near Hillside Avenue and Cook Street when Mike noticed something out of the corner of his eye.
"Is that money on the ground?," Chelsea recalls him saying. "I was like, 'No. It can't be.' And then we looked and it's like it rained money! Everywhere!"
This has happened before, elsewhere. A couple years ago money was found mysteriously flying around a highway in the Netherlands. I also found footage of bills blowing in the wind all over a street in Maine. We'll have to use our imagination about how it looked here; because rather than pulling out their cameras, Chelsea and Mike were too busy picking up the cash.
"It was like an Easter egg hunt, but what you'd dream of as an adult," Chelsea says. "There was money everywhere!"
But there were no other people, anywhere.
"Is this our lucky day?," Chelsea says they momentarily wondered. "No. This is somebody else's unlucky day."
Perhaps it was like a moped mishap in China a few years ago. A car crashed into a scooter and $42,000 in cash went flying (If you look at the video, it's amazing to know that nobody was seriously hurt). Or perhaps it was like a North Carolina woman who lost $400. She didn't find out her dog had eaten it, until they went for a walk and the pup slowly deposited the pieces (the bits of bills had to be laundered later).
In all of these other situations, when cash was removed from its owner not all the money was returned.
"Of course you want to keep it," Chelsea admits. But she'd learned from her much younger self's poor choice. Chelsea and Mike say they turned the money into the Victoria Police Department, where it remains. Unless they get a chance to split it.
"If nobody claims it," Chelsea says with a smile. "I've already decided I'm going to buy a really big ice-cream cake."
If Chelsea is rewarded for making the right decision this time, hopefully it will assuage the bitter past guilt of the life-long sweet-tooth.