Couple gives up windfall to return $46K to owner

There are some honest people in Fertile, Minn. Really honest people.

Tim and Sarah Oistad run Oistad Estate and Auctioneering Service, which specializes in estate clean-outs and auctions.

Forum News says while cleaning out a house, Sarah found a bag of trash. What do you do with a bag of trash? You throw it out, of course. But, instead, Sarah went through it and found a lockbox containing $46,777 in cash.

This is the part where I ask you: What would you do?

“Man, I could sure use that to pay some bills,” Tim said. “I went and told a few people because I didn’t want it on my conscience. Then they knew about it so I couldn’t keep it.”

And he didn’t. He gave it to Lutheran Social Services, which tracked down the owner.

“For us to be able to return those to their owner, it feels really good to us,” Sarah said. “The world of mouth and knowing you can trust us has been really good to us so far, and I don’t think we could run a business any other way.”

  • Mike Worcester

    I imagine one line of reasoning would be that if the original owners of the home left behind what they did not want, then it’s all fair game. That being said, we don’t know the situation of the original owners and perhaps that 46K would help them with life’s difficulties. Either way, hopefully a story like this garners the Oistad’s more business owing to their honesty and scruples.

  • Rob

    The finders totally did the right thing; assuming that the owner of the cash can afford it, I hope he/she also does the right thing and bestows a few Ks worth of gratitude on the finders; a 10% reward sounds about right, IMHO.