PHOTOS: Authorities looking to ID drivers who scooped up cash on California freeway

National and World

SAN DIEGO (KSWB) – Authorities Friday were working to identify drivers suspected of pocketing money that went flying from the back of an armored car in Carlsbad, California.

Calls began coming in about 9:15 a.m. Friday to California Highway Patrol dispatchers about “a large sum of money in the roadway” on a section of Interstate 5, with reports of drivers getting out of their cars to collect the bills. A man and a woman were also arrested on suspicion of taking cash after they got stuck on the freeway with their keys locked in the car, blocking traffic, according to CHP.

The incident generated significant buzz in the community. Soon, videos of people scooping up cash were widely circulated on social media and among local news outlets.

Multiple screenshots from some of these videos were released late Friday by CHP, which was investigating the incident along with the FBI. The agency said it was trying to determine the identities of the motorists in the images and were urging them to return the money within 48 hours “to avoid potential criminal charges.”

“The CHP would like to thank those motorists who have already returned money to their local CHP office,” the agency said in a news release, “and remind the public to do the right thing and return any money they found on the freeway.”

The incident brought traffic to a stop at around 9 a.m. on Friday, after the doors of an armored truck came open on Interstate 5, sending cash flying. The driver of the armored truck started picking up the bills, but soon began recording others who left their vehicles to grab the cash, according to the CHP.

Travis Fisher, a driver caught in the chaos, told KSWB he initially thought he was approaching an accident when he saw the scene. Fisher estimated there were thousands of dollars scattered on the road.

“I see all these things floating around and I realize it’s money,” Fisher said. “It was pretty crazy. Just everywhere, there was a sea of bills, everywhere.”

To return money from the incident, CHP requests people contact its Dispatch Center at 858-637-3800.

KSWB’s Matt Meyer and Domenick Candelieri contributed to this story.

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