Tuesday started out as just another day at Stewart Subaru in Yakima. Manager Mark Prater asked one of his sales representatives, Paul Andersen, to move a couple of trucks to make room for some repair work on a light pole.
But when Andersen was moving an older Dodge pickup, he found a small, insulated lunch bag that felt unusually heavy to be someone’s forgotten leftovers. Thinking it may have contained tools, he opened it.
“All I could see was fist-sized bundles of $100 bills,” he said. “Immediately, I thought, ‘someone’s going to miss this.’ I thought it was $1,500, $2,000.”
He headed right over to the showroom to turn it over to Prater, and wasn’t even around when Prater counted it, finding the total to be much higher — $10,418.53 in cash, to be exact.
“I just knew it was a lot of money, and it wasn’t mine,” he said. “You don’t know if that’s somebody’s life savings, if that was going to go toward somebody’s medical treatment. You just never know about that kind of money. I know that if it would’ve been my money that I lost, I would’ve wanted somebody to return it.”
Prater called the previous owner, who had sold the car for his ailing mother. When the Herald-Republic contacted the previous owner, he confirmed the money had been returned and asked that his mother not be identified.
“It’s kind of a neat story because, of course, car people always seem to get a bad rap,” Prater said.