Police persuade luncher who left $277,000 under chair to try bank


SAN FRANCISCO -- An 82-year-old man left behind $277,700 in cash in a red ditty bag in a Third Street restaurant, but San Francisco police persuaded him yesterday to put the money in a bank.

Police said the bag of cash was discovered by a busboy under a chair in a restaurant about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The busboy notified his boss, and the restaurant called police.

But before officers arrived, an elderly man walked in and asked for the small bag packed with greenbacks. He had put it under a chair while he was eating, he said, and then left without it.

The restaurant operators explained that they had just phoned police and asked him to wait until they responded.

When police arrived, amazed officers looked over the contents of the bag -- which included 2,554 $100 bills -- and quickly drove the man to a police station, where they tried unsuccessfully to get him to put his cash in a bank for safekeeping.

He said that he didn't want to because "some woman is trying to get it," although he didn't know her reason or her name.

Officer Ron Ray finally persuaded the man, who declined to identify himself, to keep the cash overnight in a safe in the police property clerk's office.

When the man returned yesterday, he agreed that the money should be taken to a bank.

Officer Ray escorted him there.

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