Jeepers creepers, finders keepers
But will the tax people want their cut of money?

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 29/96) - It may be an early Christmas present for one Yellowknife man.

RCMP may have no other choice but to turn over about $10,000 to the man who found the money under a rock in September.

The 31-year-old Yellowknife man found the bills while out walking his dog on a path near Tin Can Hill. The bills were weather-beaten and stuck together, and were wrapped in a clear plastic bag.

Police say he took the money home and then took it to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to replace it with new bills.

The bank teller suggested he turn the money into the police until the owner could be found.

Since Sept. 13, RCMP have been searching for the rightful owner, but they haven't had much luck.

Sgt. Wylie Grimm said that police did have two possible owners after searching through old robbery files.

About $12,000 was stolen from the Liquor Store in late 1981 when a female employee was making a night deposit. Someone on a snowmachine took the money.

But Grimm said that robbery was eliminated after an examination revealed the bills' serial numbers were dated later than 1981.

Police also considered a robbery at the Chamber of Commerce, in which a similar sum was stolen from a cash box last May.

Grimm said this possibility has also been ruled out. "So many of the bills have deteriorated, and I don't feel they would deteriorate in that length of time," he said.

While police did recover some of the serial numbers on the bills, many of them aren't readable.

Police have turned over the money to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, where a professional will examine the bills to determine the dates.

Police usually hold property 60 days before it's turned over to the person who found it.

Grimm said they will have no choice but to turn it over to the lucky man who found the money in about a week.

"It looks like we're going to have no alternative but to give it back to him," he said. "He will be given an amount in new bills equal to what he found. I have no reason to believe it will take more than a week."