“What would you do if you came across a ridiculously big amount of money that wasn’t yours? Would you call the police or would you keep it for yourself?”
This is one of the most common questions asked among friends, and most of us usually answer that we’d return the money. However, very few have had or will ever have the chance to prove they speak the truth and that their integrity wouldn’t let them act differently.
One of those few people is 19-year old Jose Nuñez Romaniz of Albuquerque.
The teenager was helping his grandpa pick new socks from an online store, and when it was time to pay for their order, Jose realized he had to go to the ATM and deposit some money in his bank account in order to complete the order.
So, Jose took his truck and drove off. When he got to the nearby Wells Fargo bank that Sunday morning, he immediately got to the ATM and was about to deposit the money, when he spotted a “foot-long stack” of $20 and $50 bills right next to the ATM.
The young man couldn’t believe his eyes and had no idea why the money was there or whose it was.
“I didn’t know what to do. I was, like, dreaming,” Nuñez told CNN. “I was just in shock. I was looking at myself and just thinking, ‘What should I do?'”
As he explains, his concern wasn’t about whether he should keep the money or not, but he was afraid it might be a trap. He didn’t know if it was real or some kind of prank; he even thought someone might pull up behind him and kidnap him using the money as bait.
After giving it some thought and realizing he didn’t have an option basically, he decided to call the police.
Jose followed the officers to the police station, where the money was counted and found to be $135,000! The officers were also surprised that a young man, in whose life this money could have made a great difference, decided to take the path of honesty and call the police.
“This money could have made an incredible amount of difference in his life if he went down the other path, but he chose … the integrity path and did the right thing,” Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque police, said.
Jose admitted that, when he was considering his options, his mom came to mind and he didn’t want to let her or his dad down.
He also referred to the notorious “chancla” punishment that he would receive; in other words, being hit by his mom with her flip-flops!
However, Jose’s good deed didn’t go unnoticed. Local businesses offered him $500 each as a recognition of his honesty.
But who did the money belong to?
Well, it seems that a bank contractor was carrying the bag, intending to load the ATM, but they never did and left it right next to the machine.
The bank was lucky that an honest man like Jose found the money, otherwise, they would have been in trouble. Currently, they are trying to contact the vendor that services the ATMs.
Jose’s incredible story made it to the local TV news, and you can see the whole story in the video below.
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