Tags: joe cornell | returns | money | brinks

Joe Cornell Returns Money: Recovering Addict Does the Right Thing

By    |   Monday, 02 Jun 2014 07:09 AM

Joe Cornell, a California man fighting to overcome alcohol and drug abuse, won his battle with temptation last week when he returned $125,000 that fell off a Brinks armored truck in Fresno.

A Brinks official told the Fresno Bee that 52-year-old Cornell will receive a $5,000 reward for finding and returning the money, but did not know how a bag with such a large amount of cash could fall off one of the highly secure armored vehicles undetected in the first place.

Cornell, who was working on trailers in a Salvation Army parking lot as part of his six-month substance-abuse rehabilitation program, told authorities on Tuesday that he noticed the bag of money sitting on Ventura Avenue after the Brinks truck had stopped there.

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He told the Bee that he saw another car pull up next to the Brinks truck around 8:30 a.m. that day and watched the people in the car exchange words with the truck's driver.

"I thought, 'That's strange,'" Cornell said, adding that the incident sparked his curiosity and made him turn to look when the Brinks truck pulled away. "Sure enough, there was a big bag laying in the road, next to the curb."

Cornell told the Bee that, when he investigated, he was stunned the find that the heavy bag was loaded with cash.

"I saw twenties and hundreds," he told the newspaper. "The whole thing was full of money."

Cornell immediately realized the moral quandary he was in, but thoughts about his grandchildren quickly helped him make up his mind about what to do.

"I started crying and shaking," Cornell said. "Everything was going through my mind — the good devil/bad devil thing. What to do? I have a grandbaby due any time, my fourth. I thought, 'What would I want her to think of me?' That made up my mind right there. I got on my radio and called my boss. 'Hey, I found a bag of money.'"

The Salvation Army called the police department, which then contacted Brinks.

"Mr. Cornell did the right thing," Brinks spokesman Ed Cunningham told the Bee. "For that, we are grateful."

Virginia Cornell, Cornell's wife, told KMPH-TV she was proud of her husband's actions and appreciative of the reward money.

"We are going to use the money to pay off my rent and pay off my truck so we can get out of the hole," she said. "This is like a new start for us."

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Joe Cornell, a California man fighting to overcome alcohol and drug abuse, won his battle with temptation last week when he returned $125,000 that fell off a Brinks armored truck in Fresno.
joe cornell, returns, money, brinks
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2014-09-02
Monday, 02 Jun 2014 07:09 AM
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