- Backpack full of cash found in California fast food restaurant by employee cleaning tables last month
- A bag of marijuana, a ‘white rock’, candy, cigarettes and a bank withdrawal slip among the contents of the bag
- If no-one claims the cash in six months it will go to the hardworking, immigrant owner who will donate the proceeds to a Muslim charity
An honest assistant manager of a Burger King found an abandoned backpack stuffed with cash while cleaning tables late last month and rather than keep it, notified her manager.
Sahista Bakawla waited for the bag’s owner to come back to the San Jose, California, outlet of the fast food chain and claim it. Strangely no-one did, so she took it to franchise owner Altaf Chaus who opened the bag to look for ID.
The contents of the bag surprised them both: $100,000 in cash along with a baggie of marijuana and a suspicious ‘white rock’.
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Sahista Bakawla (left), who found the backpack while cleaning, and Altaf Chaus, owner of the San Jose Burger King, who has said he will donate the proceeds to charity should the cash come to him
Bakawla told KGO Bay Area: ‘I twice cleaned, like two or three times cleaned the tables, and it’s still here. I waited until 3pm. And nobody came here.’
Said Chaus: ‘I open the zipper, I see lots of money, cash money, $100 bills stack up like half the bag. I said, “Wow! Today’s my birthday, this is my birthday gift.”.’
He immediately called the police.
‘I’ve been in this country 26 years and I worked two jobs for 15 years before I bought this Burger King. So I’m a very hard working man. I don’t want that money, maybe it belongs to somebody.’
When police inspected the backpack, they found ten stacks of $10,000 totaling $100,000, candy, cigarettes, a bank withdrawal slip, and a bag of marijuana and a ‘white rock’ in it, that possibly could have been drugs, Chaus told NBC.
The restaurant was busy that afternoon and San Jose Police Sergeant Heather Randol said there were not many leads related to the owner’s identity.
Police were working with local bank officials to locate the individual who left the money behind.
For now the cash has been booked into a property warehouse.
Stacks of bills totaling $100,000 was found along with a small amount of marijuana and a deposit slip
Officers told Chaus that by law the money was his if nobody claimed it in a six-month period.
Given the amount of cash, there is speculation it was intended for a morally dubious transaction and may therefore go unclaimed.
If the money does come to him, Chaus told UPI that he would ‘donate the money to needy people’.
Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, he said one possibility was a Muslim foundation that he allows to leave fundraising material on his counter.
Chaus is a Muslim himself, and originally came to the U.S. from India.
Only two weeks earlier, the branch had mistakenly accepted counterfeit $100 bills, and Chaus put up a handwritten sign on the milk shake machine by the cash register saying NO $100 BILLS PLEASE.
Asked if anyone has ever left a large amount of cash behind before, Chaus recalled: ‘One time a lady left her wallet with $800 in it.’
On that occasion he found her ATM card, called the bank, and she got her money back.
The San Jose, California, Burger King restaurant where $100K in cash was found in a backpack along with marijuana, candy, lists of phone numbers and email addresses, a bank withdrawal slip and an ATM card