Drivers rush to grab cash after armored car's door flies open on Georgia highway

A highway outside Atlanta turned into a lottery for dozens of drivers.

July 11, 2019, 3:40 AM

A crowded highway in suburban Atlanta turned into a lottery payday for dozens of drivers.

Drivers pulled over and scrambled out of their vehicles when an armored truck's door accidentally swung open while driving along Interstate 285 Tuesday evening -- spilling cold, hard cash everywhere.

Video shows dozens of drivers pulling over to the side of the road in Dunwoody, Georgia, and dashing for the cash. Even a semitrailer hauling timber is pulled over to the side of the road in the video shot by an eyewitness.

Dunwoody Sgt. Robert Parsons estimated about $175,000 spilled out onto the highway, according to Atlanta affiliate WSB.

Drivers will not be able to keep their hauls, however.

PHOTO: An armored truck spilled $175,000 onto Interstate 285 in Dunwoody, Ga., on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
An armored truck spilled $175,000 onto Interstate 285 in Dunwoody, Ga., on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.
Dunwoody Police Department

"Those people who do not return the money, we have video, we have tag numbers. We have footage of people on the interstate," Parsons told WSB. "What we're asking the public to do is bring the money back. Don't make us come looking for you, because if we do that, you probably will be charged."

Indeed the video does show license plates for most of the cars lining the highway.

There were no reported accidents Tuesday night, but Dunwoody police warned commuters who were stopping on Wednesday to scour the road for money that "THERE IS NO MORE MONEY! Please stop."

The truck was owned by GardaWorld, one of the largest private security companies in North America.

The City of Dunwoody account on Twitter showed one person who turned over cash, with the message, "Honesty is the best policy. Some people have been returning the money that fell from an armored car on I-285 last night. We salute you for doing the right thing."

"It looked like piles of leaves blowing in the wind," driver Randall Lewis, who returned $2,150 on Wednesday, told WSB. "I could not believe my eyes that this was legit money."

A similar case happened in New Jersey in December, when an armored truck spilled $300,000 on Route 3 in East Rutherford, near MetLife Stadium -- home of the NFL's Giants and Jets. Authorities also pleaded with drivers to return the money in that case, and threatened to track people down if they did not.

Tens of thousands of dollars were returned in the weeks following the incident. It's unclear whether anyone was actually tracked down or prosecuted.