FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. (AP) _ First-class mail sometimes doesn't get delivered at all in Chicago. Things are different out here in the suburbs; even a wad of money secured with a rubber band gets to its rightful destination.

Postal worker Lamonica Lewis opened a mail collection box Friday and found about $16,000 in cash, secured with a rubber band along with several checks and a deposit slip.

''She just brought it in and said, 'Look what I found,''' said Sherman Carter, a customer-service supervisor in this western Chicago suburb.

The deposit slip indicated the money belonged to the village.

Mayor Jack Williams said a police officer who usually makes the village's daily bank deposit on Friday was busy on another assignment. So another village employee took the deposit along with the mail and apparently put everything in the postal box by mistake.

In Chicago, inspectors have found nearly 70,000 pieces of undelivered mail since early this year. Postal officials found two more stacks last week: 2,000 pieces of mail behind the home of a fired letter carrier, and as many as 3,000 pieces in another carrier's car trunk.