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Joe Cornell returns money: $125K bag tumbles off armored car, tempts finder

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When Joe Cornell found an orange bag stuffed with money that had dropped off the back of an armored car, it was like an answer to his worries. This was no pocket change, that bag contained $125,000 in cash. The lost loot was now all his, but only for a few minutes, according to ABC News on May 30.

He cried out of happiness while looking at all this money and thinking how this will change his life. Cornell is a homeless recovering addict in a drug rehabilitation program, with no cash at all to his name. This windfall had him "crying and shaking" looking at this money that was all his for the moment, according to NBC News.

Cornell was working across the street from the Fresno, California Salvation Army shelter where he is living when he overheard a car blowing its horn at an armored car. The two vehicles were sitting side by side in traffic. It looked as if the car's driver was motioning to the armored car that it had dropped something.

When the traffic started to move and the two vehicles pulled away, Cornell walked over to the spot and found the bag. He saw this big orange bag, "like a Santa Claus bag," said Cornell.

At first he thought he was looking at a bag of clothes or something until he looked inside and found money. He took the bag back to a nearby trailer where he was working and counted it.

The money was wrapped in individual stacks of $100s, like it was a deposit from a business, said this happy man about his new windfall. Cornell had been staying at the Salvation Army shelter and they'd been working with him to change his life, he said. This came into mind as he contemplated his next move.

The internal struggle started and ended swiftly. All he had to do was think about his grandchildren, who would not look at him favorably if he didn't do the right thing. This is when the homeless man took the bag stuffed with $125,000 to his supervisor at the Salvation Army.

They notified the police, who returned the money to the armored car company. While staying at the shelter, Cornell works across the street washing cars. This $125,000 would go a long way to a homeless man trying to make a new start, but it wasn't his and he did the right thing.

The armored car company, Brinks, was extremely happy to have the money returned and is embarking on an internal investigation as to how this happened. They thanked him and also rewarded him with $5,000. They also donated another $5,000 to the Salvation Army where Cornell lives.

Cornell said that people are calling him "crazy" today, but he said he is trying very hard to turn his life around. He also said that he had been in jail too many times in his life for making the wrong decisions and this time he made the right one.

Again, it was all about how his grandchildren will look at him as a grandfather and today it sounds as if they can be very proud of him.

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