Lifestyle & Belief

Australian couple returns $61,000 in cash found in shopping bag


A shopping centre in Australia.


Robert Prezioso

An Australian couple who found 61,000 Australian dollars (about $64,000) in a shopping center parking lot have returned the money.

Paul and Helen Butler, of Kelvin Grove in Brisbane, told the Fairfax media that when they found the money — in cash wrapped in smaller brown paper bags and contained in a larger plastic bag — the decision was simple.

"My wife had picked me up from work – we'd had a pretty challenging day – and we decided we didn't have much at home for dinner so we went to the shop. We put the groceries in the car and I went to put the trolley back in the trolley bay and there was a bag hanging down [from another trolley]. I'm thinking to myself that someone's lost their fruit or vege."

Interviewed by The Courier-Mail newspaper, Mr Butler said:

"It turned out each bag contained a day's taking from a business. I just thought 'whoever owns this must be having kittens.'"

The bag reportedly also contained business documents, which the couple used to try and track down the owner of the cash.

However, after an online search failed, and couple visited one house without result, they took the money to  local police station.

It turned out a local business owner had reported losing the cash while the couple was at the police station.

The business owner gave the Butlers $500 as reward but asked to remain anonymous.

Butler added that he never once considered keeping the findings as a Christmas bonus.

''It never crossed my mind to keep it. It comes down to your morals and values you were brought up with. When you know it's not yours, you know someone is going through a world of pain,'' he said.