New type of re­al­ity show: Man re­united with $100,000 he’d stashed in an old TV

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - LIAM CASEY

About 30 years ago an On­tario man stuffed a wad of cash and bank­ing doc­u­ments in­side a box, opened up the back of his tele­vi­sion and hid the pack­age in­side.

He then didn’t give it much thought un­til de­tec­tives came to his home near Peter­bor­ough last month car­ry­ing the box and ask­ing him if he knew what it con­tained.

It turned out the 68-year-old for­got all about his se­cret stash — amount­ing to $100,000 — and had given his tele­vi­sion to a friend who dropped it off to be re­cy­cled. The cash was only dis­cov­ered when the set was re­cently dis­man­tled at a depot.

“He was quite sur­prised and ex­cited that it was re­turned to him,” said Const. Ni­cole Rodgers of Bar­rie po­lice. “I think it’s amaz­ing.”

Po­lice dis­cov­ered that the man — whose name they did not re­lease — thought he still had his stash squir­relled away at home.

Grow­ing up, the man had stored money around the house, Rodgers said, and it was a prac­tice he con­tin­ued through­out his life.

“They didn’t use a lot of in­sti­tu­tions or banks,” she said. “He had put it in a re­ally safe place and that place was in­side the TV.”

The man told de­tec­tives the money came from an in­her­i­tance given to him by his par­ents, Rodgers said. But af­ter for­get­ting about the cash, he gave the tele­vi­sion that held the stash to a friend a few years ago, Rodgers said.

About a year ago, that friend re­cy­cled the tele­vi­sion, which ended up at the Global Elec­tric Elec­tronic Pro­cess­ing, a re­cy­cling plant in Bar­rie.

Last month, an em­ployee at the depot be­gan tak­ing apart the TV and came across the box and the bank­ing doc­u­ments, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. The em­ployee then took the goods to her su­per­vi­sor, who called po­lice.

Rodgers said the com­pany didn’t have to call po­lice — by law the tele­vi­sion was given to them and be­came their prop­erty.

“It’s com­mend­able what the em­ployee and the com­pany did,” she said. “They just said ‘This isn’t about this be­ing ours, it has to mean some­thing to some­one.’”

Po­lice dis­cov­ered the bank­ing doc­u­ments dated to 1985, Rodgers said, along with con­tact in­for­ma­tion. And since man hadn’t moved in more than three decades, they found him quickly.

Po­lice also asked the RCMP to see if the money was coun­ter­feit or linked to a crime. The cash came back clean, Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the man and his fam­ily were “ec­static” when the cash was re­turned. “They said the money will be in a safe place,” Rodgers said, adding she didn’t know if that meant in­side their home or at a bank.

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