Reporting Edgar Linares
MOORHEAD, Minn. (WCCO) – A waitress in Minnesota will keep her $12,000 tip after police confiscated the cash, according to her attorney Craig Richie.
“The county attorney’s office and the Moorhead Police Department have agreed to give her the entire $12,000,” said Richie.
Stacy Knutson says she got the money after a customer left a box at her table at the Fryn’ Pan Restaurant in Moorhead. She followed the customer to her car to return the box but the woman told her to keep it. Knutson found bundled rolls of cash inside the box.
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She said even though she has five children and could use the money, she decided to call police.
“They’re strapped financially,” said Richie.
Officers told the woman to wait 90 days in case someone claimed the money. Richie says after three months, police told Knutson the cash was being held as drug money.
“They initially said they were going to give it to her,” said Richie. “Then they said, ‘Oh, well, no we had the drug dogs sniff it and we think there’s drugs on it and we are going to keep it.’”
Richie says police offered her a $1,000 reward, but she never received it. She then filed a lawsuit in Clay County District Court.
“We argued that most money that you carry in your pocket has drug residue on it,” said Richie. “She could’ve kept the money and nobody would’ve known. But she said, ‘No, I’m going to do the right thing.’ So she called police and now integrity has now prevailed.”