Update: Brinks has announced they will give Pat Wesner $2,500 as a reward for her kind gesture. Wesner says she plans to use the money to buy a new wheelchair for her son.
If money literally fell off of a truck right in front of you, what would you do? Would you be tempted to pocket it and keep going or would you do the honest thing and give it all back? Pat Wesner of Salem, New York, chose the latter.
Wesner was driving to work on Tuesday morning, and an armored Brinks truck happened to pass in front of her. All of a sudden, dollar bills and coins spilled out of the truck. So what did she do? Wesner called 911 to inform them of what had happened. Wesner described how the money hit the ground, and then "sprayed out like a halo with the sunshine." She added, "It was definitely something out of a movie." Apparently, the driver of the Brinks truck did not realize that he had lost the money. In addition, Wesner said there were no witnesses of the event, yet she still did the right thing.
When a state trooper arrived, the two of them picked up the money and it was all returned to Brinks. In all, there were more than 11,000 one-dollar bills and $50 in pennies. Wesner said that she and the trooper were both laughing as they collected the money, and she said, "I can't even put one dollar in my pocket without feeling guilty about it. It's not my money."
Wesner said that since learning of what happened, her friends said they may not have been as honest as she was. Some said they would have kept the money. A few of her friends even suggested she should have kept it because she is deserving and could really use the money. Wesner works for a nonprofit and is a married mother of four, with one son away at college, one son serving in Afghanistan, a daughter, and a son who is disabled whom she has to care for daily.
Even though the nonprofit that Wesner works for has to watch every penny, she said, "It's stealing if you take something that's not yours," and she would have never thought of keeping the money no matter how much she could use it.
- Politics & Government