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Stonehouse said the pair immediately reported and catalogued the money as store protocol requires. The pair also went through the rest of the bag and found bank receipts that showed the name of a possible owner.
In total, there was $85,549 in Canadian bills, the most recent of which was printed in 1988, said Stonehouse. Other documents found inside the bag seemed to indicate the owner may not have seen the money in about a decade or so, he said.
Sgt. Steve Addison said Vancouver police received a call from Stonehouse on the afternoon of Jan. 18, asking for help returning the money. Officers were dispatched to collect the money and the bank receipts, and have since been able to locate and confirm the identity of the owner.
Addison said it appeared the owner is a woman who had moved into a long-term care home almost a year ago, but that the money was unknowingly donated by well-meaning family members who had recently cleared out the woman’s storage unit.
“We didn’t solve a crime but we helped facilitate a happy ending to the story,” said Addison on Thursday. “Not everything that police are called to turns out to be a crime. We deal, as police officers, with a myriad of calls as we know, and we’re just happy to be able to be involved in this.”
Addison said the money is at the VPD’s property office and that arrangements are being made for the family to collect the cash. It’s unclear how long the money had been in the woman’s storage unit before being donated.