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Mother of six, 11-year-old boy are first to return Brink’s money

January 11, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ Faye McFadden was riding to work in a jitney bus when a fellow passenger saw money raining from the sky. When the van pulled over, Ms. McFadden got out and helped herself to some of the loot from an armored car crash.

On Friday, the mother of six who makes $5 an hour in her department store job was the first to bring money from the Brink’s truck crash back to police.

She returned $19.53, mostly in quarters _ leaving police the task of finding the rest of the approximately $500,000 in cash and $300,000 in food stamps taken Wednesday in a wild, carnival-like scene in one of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods.

``I teach my children that if they take something that doesn’t belong to them, then it’s wrong,″ Ms. McFadden told The Associated Press. ``When I found out it was an accident and it was a Brink’s truck, I decided to return it.″

An 11-year-old Catholic school student turned in 85 cents after his teacher reminded students it was wrong to keep the money. The truck overturned near St. Francis Xavier Elementary School.

``I saw a lot of people all over the place running for some money,″ Herbert told WPLG-TV. ``I knew it was wrong for me to keep anything and I knew if I kept it, I would have been stealing.″

Detectives also learned Friday that rush-hour commuters may have loaded bags of money into their cars and drove off as the Brink’s truck driver and his assistant lay bleeding on the ground.

Meanwhile, police arrested a Dade County corrections employee Friday night on charges of dealing in stolen food stamps believed to have come from the Brink’s load. Marcia Scott, 37, had thousands of dollars in food stamps in her possession, police said.

Police pleaded with people for two days to return the money and threatened to file charges against those who don’t, but had not gotten a dime back until Friday. A two-day amnesty period expires at noon today and people who took the money could face charges up to grand theft.

When Ms. McFadden came in with the money, police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz hugged her and proclaimed her a hero.

``This makes me very proud,″ Schwartz told her. ``I wish more people would do the same thing.″

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