Drivers scoop up fallen cash from armored truck on freeway: CHP


Money is shown scattered across the Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, California, on Nov. 19, 2021, after an armored car’s door opened. Two people were arrested after they were accused of picking money up, officials said.

Screengrab from KCRA-TV

Money blanketed a California freeway after an armored truck’s door opened while driving, authorities told multiple media outlets.

Drivers stopped along Interstate 5 in Carlsbad on Friday, Nov. 19, around 9 a.m. to grab the fallen cash, the California Highway Patrol told KSWB-TV.

“For whatever reason, money was falling out of an armored car,” California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “It was free-floating bills all over the freeway.”

A man and women were arrested after they were accused of stopping their vehicle in traffic lanes to pick up the cash, KSWB-TV reported.

They got locked out of their car, which was blocking traffic, highway patrol officials told The San Diego Union-Tribune. Their car had to be towed.

An Instagram user caught the incident on camera.

The video shows one man with a pile of cash in his hand along with other people collecting the bills. One woman is seen putting a stash in her wallet.

“This is the most insane thing I have ever seen,” the user said in the video.

But taking the money may not end well.

“If you found money on the freeway, it is not your money,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Curtis Martin told KSWB-TV. “It belongs to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) and this armored truck and the bank. It needs to be returned.”

The amount of lost money is unknown, but a few bags fell with bills ranging from $1 to $20, KCRA-TV reported.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter covering the state of Washington and the western region. She’s a journalism graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s based in Phoenix.

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