Spilled cash halts highway, two arrested for 'stealing' federal money

Photo credit Getty Images
By , KNX 1070 Newsradio

A large amount of cash got California drivers in a frenzy Friday morning — as the doors of an armored truck burst open, sending cash bags and bills blowing across all lanes of Interstate 5 in San Diego County.

The truck was driving northbound on I-5 around 9:15 a.m. in Carlsbad when the rear door opened, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Curtis Martin, who said the truck was traveling from a San Diego bank to the federal reserve when the incident happened.

Podcast Episode
Jill on Money with Jill Schlesinger
Help, I’m Stressing Over My Finances!
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Demi Bagby was there when it happened and shared her video of the money-strewn freeway with KUSI News. Her details line up with what the driver of the armored truck told CHP.

"Numerous bags of cash fell out and some of the bags burst open — immediately dispersing cash across all the lanes, it was blowin’ everywhere," Martin said, adding that all traffic came to a stop as people began to get out of their cars and run for the money.

"The armored truck driver got out, picked up some of the cash but then just started video taping people," Sgt. Martin said in a press conference, explaining that there is a substantial number of videos circulating online that serve as evidence of theft.

So far two adults have already been arrested for both stopping on the freeway for a non-emergency and for taking money that belongs to the FDIC. There is no word yet on what charges they will face or how much money they are accused of taking.

"We’re working with the FBI now as a joint investigation," Martin said. "I highly suggest if anybody picked up cash... we ask you to bring it to the CHP office in Vista, California immediately. Then we’ll go from there."

At this point it's unclear what caused the doors of the truck to open — or how much cash blew out all over the freeway. All Martin could say was that it was "a lot of money" but less than one million dollars.

He said anyone in the videos who is identified faces potential theft and federal charges if they do not come forward to return the cash.

"This is FDIC money, this is some federal crimes they could be looking at," he said. "If you found money on the freeway it does not belong to you. It belongs to the FDIC and this armored truck and the bank."

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign up and follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram