Teen Low on Cash Finds $135,000 in a Bag at an ATM – His Next Move Is a Reminder to All Parents

Inspiring Stories

Jose Nuñez Romaniz, a criminal justice student, visited an ATM after trying to buy some socks for his grandfather and realizing he was low on cash.

When Jose got to the ATM to make a deposit, he made a wild discovery. Next to the machine was a bag filled with cash. It turns out the bag contained $135,000!

Stumbling Into Something Big

At first, Jose didn’t know what it all meant or what actions he should take. “When I first saw it, I kind of stared at it for a few seconds, not knowing what to do,” Jose told the New York Times.

“I was very shocked. I’ve never seen so much money.”

Jose Nuñez Romaniz

He wasn’t sure if he had stumbled upon a crime scene and was now in trouble, or would become a hostage, or if it was some sort of mistake. Thinking quickly, he called the police.

Jose found out that there wasn’t a crime in process, but the bag had accidentally been left behind by a worker who was filling the ATM.

“This money could have made an incredible amount of difference in his life if he went down the other path, but he chose the integrity path and did the right thing,” Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque police told CNN.

That could have been the end of it, but then this young man got an amazing reward. The teen was called a “community hero” by Officer Drobik. The mayor and police chief also held a ceremony to officially thank him!

Local businesses joined in on the celebration by showering him with gift cards from local restaurants, season tickets for University of New Mexico football, a $500 scholarship, and even a bunch of sports gear.

His mother was super proud too.

“She called me and almost started crying… She told me I did the right thing and that she was proud of me.”

Jose Nuñez Romaniz

Doing the Right Thing

Jose remembers that when he was staring at the money, waiting for the police to arrive, he heard the lessons his mother and father had taught him when he was growing up in his head.

“My parents always taught me to work for my own. Stolen money would never last you any time.”

Jose Nuñez Romaniz

When Jose came across that bag of cash, he could have easily taken the money with him and used it to provide him and his family a comfortable life.

However, he chose to do the right thing, which gave him a sense of satisfaction. Additionally, his actions led him to receive the admiration of others, which is rewarding in itself.

More from Goalcast:

Act with integrity

Doing the right thing can present limitless rewards.

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