Tod­dler feeds $1,000 of his par­ents’ cash in to the shred­der

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Rob Crilly

in New York

LIT­TLE Leo Bel­nap loves noth­ing bet­ter than help­ing his mother put junk mail, credit card state­ments or other doc­u­ments with per­sonal in­for­ma­tion through the fam­ily’s shred­ding ma­chine. So when the two-year-old spot­ted a bun­dle of pa­pers on the counter at their home in Salt Lake City, Utah, he knew what to do. He shred­ded them.

Only in this case it was not a stack of worth­less doc­u­ments – it was an en­ve­lope filled with more than $1,000 (£760) in bank notes that his par­ents had saved to pay for Amer­i­can foot­ball tick­ets. “We re­alised it was gone the next day and started to search. We searched ev­ery­where in our house and could not find it,” Jac­kee Bel­nap told CBS News. “I have a bin where I put junk mail and any files I want shred­ded and my son and I shred it when it gets full. I looked through that and then it made me think to look in the shred­der.”

The money was all there – if not in mint con­di­tion. “We were silent for about five min­utes and just sorted the money out and then I broke the si­lence and said, ‘This will make a great wed­ding story some day,’” said Ms Bel­nap.

She and her hus­band knew who the cul­prit was. “Leo had no idea he did any­thing wrong,” she said. “It felt un­fair to get mad.”

The fam­ily has been told they can send the re­mains to the depart­ment of the Trea­sury, which re­im­burses tens of thou­sands of peo­ple ev­ery year for their mu­ti­lated money.

Leo Bel­nap used a shred­der to de­stroy the cash, be­low, that had been put aside to buy Amer­i­can foot­ball tick­ets

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