Waiting tables can feel like a little like playing the lottery; one day a customer bounces on the bill, the next Jay-Z’s giving you $50,000 for a tip, right before four customers stomp you for bringing them the wrong plate. So went the shifting fortunes for Minnesota waitress Stacy Knutson this week, who was left a to-go box stuffed with $12,000 in cash by a customer at Fryn’ Pan, apparently as a tip. But then Knutson did a silly, if honorable thing, and reported the cash, wadded and wrapped in different denominations, to the police.
The cops told Knutson she could keep the money if no one claimed it within 90 days, not long before seizing the money from her and claiming it was part of a drug investigation after a drug-sniffing dog supposedly detected the scent of narcotics on the greenbacks. Fortunately, the media took notice, with reports from USA Today, CBS, and ABC, among others, leading to an outcry to return the cash to Knutson.
The good news: Knutson gets her massive payday. Duluth Tribune News reports that the waitress will be cut a check for $12,000 after she filed suit against the police seizure, leading to the ultimate determination that the cash could not be tied to any criminal investigation.