$17K Tossed Onto Freeway, Some Money Still Missing

By R. Stickney and Tony Shin
|  Friday, Mar 20, 2009  |  Updated 8:06 AM PDT
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$100 Bills Thrown Onto Highway

Officers held thousands of dollars in $100 bills collected from the highway.

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Chase Suspect Throws Money From Car

The driver in a high-speed chase tosses wads of cash totaling more than $17K out his window into rush hour traffic.
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Two drug suspects tossed $17,000 onto San Diego freeways during a police chase Thursday afternoon. Motorists stopped to scoop up the bills, but police say officers recovered most of the money.

"I just saw cars stopped and them picking up money from their cars," said witness Nancy Acosta.

Police and federal drug agents were following the suspects' pickup truck when the driver fled on busy Interstate 5 during the afternoon commuter rush. They tossed $20 and $100 bills out the window before surrendering.

Cash was blowing across freeway lanes, Sgt. Kevin Rausis said. Some motorists stopped in traffic lanes to pick up the bills.

"People were jumping the median and stuffing dollar bills in their shirts," according to Cal Walker with KOGO traffic.

Law enforcement officers shut down Interstate 805.  Officers following the money trail collected more than $17,200 and some passers-by later turned in cash to police.

Officers believe there is still more money out there, and are warning people to turn it in.

"It is evidence in a crime and they should turn it in to their nearest police station," Sgt. Kevin Rausis said.  Officers may look at police helicopter video and Caltrans cameras to identify people who took the money. 

A spokesperson for the DEA would not give details about where the money came from, but did say that it was part of a bigger ongoing investigation.

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