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Police Confiscate Waitress's $12K Tip, Then Agree to Return It

“Thus as I understand it, it is mine.”

  • A Minnesota mom was left a $12k tip by a customer
  • The waitress turned the cash over to the authorities who then told her she could have it back if no one claimed it in 90 days
  • Authorities told the waitress she might not get it back because a police dog detected the odor of drugs on the money

Authorities have decided to return a $12,000 tip to a Minnesota waitress that police believed was drug money.

Stacy Knutson of Moorhead, Minn., says a customer told her she could keep a takeout container left behind at the Fryn' Pan restaurant. The box turned out to contain $12,000 in bills in various denominations.

"Stacy Knutson believes the $12,000 tip that she received was left by someone in the community who knew her family had fallen on hard times," the Daily Mail reports.

$12,000 dollars. Just let that sink in for a bit. What would you do? We know what the waitress (who is also the mother of five) did.

"...Knutson is so da** honest that she...turned the money over to the police, who took the money, and said they'd give it back to her in 90 days if nobody claimed it," writes Gawker's Hamilton Nolan.

And although the Police initially told her she could keep the money if no one claimed it within 90 days (and nobody did), they reneged on their promise after a dog detected drug odors on the money.

Yep. It went from being pretty much the best tip in the world to impounded "drug money."

Watch the CBS news update (at the 48 second mark):

Of course, Knutson could only take so much of this. The money was left for her, she was told to keep it, she did the honest thing by telling the police, and no one claimed it -- it's her money!

So she filed a lawsuit.

“I do know that the person gave me what was in that to-go bag,” Knutson wrote in the lawsuit. “Thus as I understand it, it is mine.”

She had even followed the diner to her car and tried to return the box o' money but the lady said, “No, I am good, you keep it,” the lawsuit said.

On Thursday, after the case drew national attention, Assistant Clay County Attorney Michelle Lawson told reporters the money could not be tied to a criminal investigation, and that Knutson would get a check.

Well. Good. It'd be a cruel irony if she ended up not getting the money because she was honest about it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

One last thing…
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