TriMet crews find a lot of lost items on trains including an umbrella, a hat, maybe even an ID card or wallet. Last month, a team of TriMet service workers on the graveyard shift stumbled onto a much bigger find when they were prepping a MAX train–some $10,000 in cash!
On May 9, in the overnight hours, and the “sanding team” was checking the sand boxes on the trains, making sure they were filled for the coming week. The sand is used at times to give the train wheels more traction. It’s stored under seats near the cabs of the trains. The group was working like a well-oiled team, moving efficiently through their task like they do every night, until the unexpected happened.
One of the five team members looked under a seat before undoing the latch to the cushion so he could check the sand box underneath. He thought he saw a stack of bills, but thought, “Naw.” Then he opened the seat.
“I was shocked to find it was the real deal, a wad of cash,” he said.
He gathered up the money while the team leader for that night immediately called for their supervisor.
“We found some money and I need you to come out here,” he told his boss.
The guys held up the stacks so the money and their actions could be captured on the security cameras on the train, but there was no hesitation.
“We knew we were going to do the right thing,” said one of the team.
“It didn’t look like it was that much, but when we were counting it out it was like, ‘oh wow’ that’s really $10,000,” said the team’s supervisor. “It was mind-blowing.”
While the seat turned out to be quite the stash spot, it was risky.
“I cannot believe someone would ditch money on a train,” said one of the service workers. “Those trains go from Gresham, through Portland to Beaverton and Hillsboro, and then back again. It seems like that’s a bad idea. Anyone could have found it.”
The money was turned over the Beaverton Police. They have not connected the money to known criminal activity and no one has come forward to claim it.