Struggling Waitress Sues Police For Confiscating $12,000 Tip

April 5, 2012  |  

A struggling waitress and mother from Minnesota received the tip of a lifetime a while back when she opened a box with $12,000 in it. While she was trying to do the right thing and decided to contact the police about the money, that’s a decision she now regrets. Here’s the deal-io according to our friends at ABC News:

One day while working at the Fryn’ Pan in Moorhead, Minn., Stacy Knutson found a small box on the table of a customer who was leaving. When she tried to hurry up and return in to the customer, the woman told her to keep it. So she did. And when she opened it, she was surprised to find $12,000 worth of cash in it, wrapped in bundles and with rubber bands. This is what Knutson said in the lawsuit: “Even though I desperately needed the money as my husband and I have five children, I feel I did the right thing by calling the Moorhead Police.”

When she did, Moorhead Police took the money and told her that if it wasn’t claimed within 60 days, it was all hers.

But after 60 days passed, they asked her to wait 90 days.

Then 90 days passed. Still no money.

In the end, the police kept the money and said they would offer Knutson a $1,000 reward as a replacement for turning it in. Why? Despite what you’re thinking (that they played her), the local police say that the money had the smell of marijuana on it, and therefore, they needed to open up a drug investigation on it.

But people working the day Knutson found the money don’t believe that mess, and made their opinions known in an affidavit. It wasn’t drug money, because they know drugs when they smell ’em:

“I know the smell of marijuana,” said Nickolas Fronning, a line cook at the Fryn’ Pan. “I can also assure you that there was no smell of marijuana on the bills or coming from the box.”

Her lawyer says that he and his client believe someone from her local church, who knew of her money woes found a way to give her the large “tip.” With her large family, Knutson had been working at the Fryn’ Pan for 18 years to help make ends meet.

“Somebody knew she really needed the money and she needed to be helped,” says Craig Richie. “The only thing that smells bad about this is that it’s unfair. So that’s why we’re doing something about it.”

But the police told ABC News that they are not trying to steal from her at all. Lt. Tory Jacobson says they’re actually on her side:

“The police department doesn’t have a decision on either side,” Jacobson said. “She did the right thing, we credit her with that. It’s certainly not the police department against her. We’re actually with her.”

I don’t know folks, this is a really tricky situation. Something about it does smell funny, as though she was left with dirty money. But money is money, and she found it, and it is long past the initial 90 days. So…I say just let the woman have it. However, that’s just my opinion. What about you?

Do you think this money is dirty? Or did it come from a generous person doing a good thing?

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN