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Cops Find $60K on Woman Sleeping in Store

August 16, 2005

JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) _ Police trying to rouse an 87-year-old woman snoozing on a recliner in a discount store on the weekend found $60,000 in cash in her purse while looking for her identification.

Employees at the Big Lots store said the woman had been sleeping there for hours when police arrived at 8 p.m. on Saturday, said Janesville Sgt. Tom Wolfram.

Police could not manage to wake her and an officer who rummaged through her purse found six 100-bill stacks of $100 bills inside a second bag secured with a safety pin, Wolfram said.

A sergeant was dispatched to the scene to verify the money count, and the cash later also was counted by Lt. Keith Lawver.

``I’ve never seen $60,000 cash until they put it on my desk last night,″ Lawver said.

Police temporarily took the money for safekeeping while the woman’s status was clarified, the sergeant said, but the money was returned to her Monday.

The woman was taken to Mercy Hospital, checked and then released, said Nancy White, property manager of the Golden Acres Apartments for the elderly across the street.

White said she fed the woman, washed her clothes and allowed her to stay with her until Monday morning.

``She kind of reminded me of a female Scrooge. She was very unappreciative,″ White said.

Lawver told the Janesville Gazette the woman does not have a fixed address and has been staying at various Janesville apartments and hotels for the past year, while under the care of a Rock County social services caseworker.

``Hopefully, her caseworker will help her get a bank account set up and help her manage it,″ Lawver said.

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