Honest teens find, return $800 in cash to grateful owner

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
What would you do if you found a thick wad of $20 bills on the ground? For two teenagers in Auburn, the answer late Monday was an honest and simple one. They turned the $800 in to the police and it was soon reunited with its grateful owner. Auburn Police Sgt. Dave Lawicka said the two teens – a 15-year-old girl attending Placer High and an 18-year-old Del Oro High grad – discovered the money on the ground in a parking lot adjacent to LeFebvre Stadium at the Auburn high school. Lawicka said the cash was located between two vehicles and the two took it to the high school administration office nearby. An office employee contacted Auburn Police and Lawicka traced the license plates on the two cars the money was found between. Meanwhile, the man who lost the money was coaching the Placer Hillmen defensive line Monday afternoon oblivious to the fact that the bills had fallen out of the shallow pocket of his shorts. The money came from a Craigslist-facilitated sale of his bike and jogging trailer that he had sold after a garage cleanup. Maxwell said he’d stuffed the money into his pocket thinking that he’d deposit it in the bank after practice. While Maxwell coached, Lawicka was asking around on the football field whether anyone knew who the two people he had names for were. They pointed Lawicka in the direction of Maxwell. Lawicka asked Maxwell to go to the car and see if there was anything of value that he might have lost. Maxwell searched and then checked his pockets, finally realizing that he was missing the cash. Lawicka said the two anonymous teens are shying away from any personal publicity. Maxwell said he even had to force a small reward for their honesty into their hands. Touched by the unexpected good deed, the Regal movie theater in Auburn has given the two movie passes for four. A local eatery has provided four free meals. And Gold Rush Chevrolet is providing a $250 driving lesson and discounts on any vehicles either buy there, Lawicka said. Maxwell, a 36-year-old construction worker and father of two, said he’s grateful for the return of the money but also thankful for a demonstration of honesty. “It restores my faith that there are good kids out there,” Maxwell said. “It would have been easy for them to walk off and not even think twice about it.” Lawicka said that society too often dwells on graffiti, theft and dope-smoking images of teenagers. “Quite often you hear about kids doing bad things,” Lawicka said. “I think it’s great when we can see that there are still good kids, and good people like this out there.”