An Arlington Heights man was fined $500 after he turned in $17,000 but lied about how and where he actually found the cash, police said Wednesday.
Robert Adams was cited for filing a false report with the Rolling Meadows Police Department.
On the evening of June 6, Adams found a Chase Bank bag of cash totaling about $17,000 near an ATM at a Walgreen store in south suburban Midlothian, police said.
Instead of turning the cash in at that location, Adams drove to Rolling Meadows and turned in the bag at a Chase Bank. He later told police he found the cash outside a newspaper stand in Rolling Meadows.
After investigators reviewed video surveillance, they discovered Adams, 54, found the money in Midlothian, Rolling Meadows police Sgt. Tony Gaspari said in the news release.
Adams told the Tribune on Wednesday night that he felt more comfortable turning the cash in to Rolling Meadows officials and filing the report with Rolling Meadows police.
"I know now a little better than I knew then," he said. "I feel very badly and understand why I should have told the truth."
Adams said it was a hot day and he just wanted to get home. "I wasn't looking for a reward. I was just doing the right thing," he said. Adams said he did not get a reward for finding the money.
On Wednesday, Adams said he was told he had to pay a $500 fine for filing a false report.
Here's what I think happened: The guy's initial reaction was to keep the money. As he drove the forty miles from Midlothian to his home in Arlington Heights, his conscience got the better of him so he took the money to a Chase branch in nearby Rolling Meadows. He was embarrassed about having thought about keeping the money so he made up the story about finding the money in Rolling Meadows.
All he's guilty of is stupidity. What he should have said when he turned the money in was, "I wasn't sure what do and it was hard to think clearly with that much money in my car. I knew that there was a Chase branch in Rolling Meadows which is near where I live so I decided to bring the money there."
Chase should pick up the $500 fine for the guy.