The Lookout

Man finds $150,000 in garden

The Lookout

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FILE – In this March 20, 2009, file photo mounds of fresh broccoli are on display in the produce section of an …

As the old saw goes, money doesn't grow on trees. But sometimes it sprouts up in the garden. An unemployed man in northern Illinois was out working in his backyard when he came across some serious green: bags filled with $150,000 cash.

Wayne Sabaj was headed to pick some broccoli to go with his roast. The carpenter spotted duffel bags that looked like trash by the peppers -- but they turned out to be a cash crop: stacks of $20 bills that added up to about $150,000. The 49-year-old, who is living with his dad, did not exactly jump for joy.

The out-of-work carpenter told ABC7, "I could really use this money." But with this money comes trouble. He explained, "With my luck, it would be bank robbery and I'd get caught and say I'd robbed a bank."

So the honest man with money troubles alerted the police to his amazing backyard treasure.

For now, police haven't a clue to where the cash came from: There are no reported burglaries in the area, and no banks have been robbed.

Then there was the concern that whoever left the money behind would be back, and that's a problem the Sabaj men would rather have solved by the police.

If nobody comes forward to legitimately claim the cash, there may be a happy ending for the man tending his garden: Police will help figure out if Sabaj can keep the money. The carpenter has retained an attorney just in case.

For now, the cash is in custody with the country sheriff, who left behind a card on the lawn where Sabaj found the bags, bearing the simple message, Please call.

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