MAHWAH, N.J. — The search is on in New Jersey for a man in a van who police said drove off with a bag filled with tens of thousands of dollars that was accidentally left behind by an employee of an ATM company.
Surveillance video shows the costly mistake made by employees at ATMForUs.com in Mahwah.
In the video, a worker is seen leaving a building at 31 Industrial Avenue. Police said he was reloading ATMs and was carrying $141,000 in a small, unmarked bag.
He sets the satchel down and walks around to the back of his car before getting in and taking off. The bag, filled with $10s and $20s, was left behind on the lawn, police said.
“At some point the person who was supposed to have the bag realized that it wasn’t in the car with him,” said William Hunt with Mahwah police.
“But at that point, he was seven miles away and called back to the office to see if it was still curbside where he had left it.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Surveillance video then shows a passenger of a white work van picking up the bag full of money and driving away.
Police said surveillance video from an automotive business across the street shows the same van grabbing discarded tires from a dumpster just minutes before their big pay day.
Authorities believe the thieves first spotted the bag, picked up the tires and then noticed the bag still sitting there as they left.
“It was really just a stroke of luck, or misfortune, for them that this van happened to be driving by shortly after the money was left at the curb,” Hunt said.
Police said once the worker who left the money behind returned and realized what happened, an ambulance needed to be called for him. Other workers in the same building can’t believe what happened.
“I’m shocked, I’m really shocked,” said Judy Recca. “I’m shocked that it could happen in the first place and that someone could be so stupid to take it without thinking they’re going to get caught.”
Police are now hoping the people who took the bag will do the right thing and return it.
“Anytime you find property that’s discarded on the side of the road, it’s not just fair game for you to pick it up and say, ‘Well, you left it, I found it,’” Hunt said.
Cops believe they are looking for a 1999 GMC Savana work van with a glass panel and sliding door.