What would you buy with $150K? If an ATM worker accidentally left behind a satchel of cash, would you (a) – work diligently to turn the money over to the proper authorities, (b) – skim a little spending money off and then surreptitiously hide the bulk of the dough, or (c) – ram off and straightaway purchase an all-cash 2016 Chevy Tahoe because hey, finders keepers and we know what the losers can do about it.
But the only one left crying in this ridiculous story is Hillside, New Jersey man Alton Harvey, 42, who has since been tossed behind bars for his reckless spending spree.
Writes NewsMax: “Using surveillance video, police tracked down a white van that was seen pulling up to the business where the bag of cash was accidentally left on Monday, The Associated Press reported. The van led police to Alton Harvey, who was arrested and charged with theft of mislaid property; he is being held on $125,000 bail.”
An accomplice of Harvey’s, identified as Jamar Bludson, 35, of Newark, is being sought by police. Investigators said Bludson was with Harvey when the pair found the cash.
As if Harvey’s new car wasn’t enough, this foolhardy filcher also decided that – just prior to finding the bag of money – he was going to steal some used tires. Adds The Associated Press: “Police said the van was seen in another video pulling into a nearby auto repair business and pilfering used tires.” Video shows the men burgling some tires from a nearby dumpster.
Harvey and Bludson also spent some of the money on a variety of other goods, including some new electronic toys and a big fast food feast.
The costly mistake was made by employees of ATMForUs. Surveillance video shows a worker setting down the satchel, which was full of money to replenish ATMs, walking around the rear of the vehicle and forgetting the money was left on the ground.
“At some point, the person who was supposed to have the bag realized that it wasn’t in the car with him, but at that point, he was seven miles away so he called back to the office to see if it was still at the curbside where he had left it,” said Mahwah police Officer William Hunt.
When the employees realized the mistake, just 15 minutes later, they returned, but Harvey had already made his drive-by “withdrawal.” According to police, the employee was so distraught over the error that an ambulance had to be called.
Harvey is no stranger to a jail cell. The NJ man has an extensive criminal record – ten felony convictions dealing with weapons, drugs, narcotics, resisting arrest, etc.
“Anytime you find property that’s discarded on the side of the road, it’s not just fair game for you to pick it up and say, ‘Well, you left it, I found it,’” Hunt said.
If you found $150K, would you return it or buy stuff with it?