Beds, Herts & Bucks

Emmaus shop worker finds £9,000 cash in sofa

Staff at a Hertfordshire charity shop found £9,000 hidden in a sofa bed that had been donated to them.

Andy Browne was unfolding the furniture at the Emmaus shop in Batford, when he discovered the bag full of £50 notes inside it.

He said he acted on "immediate impulse" and owned up to the find.

Police have traced the owner, who said he put it there for safekeeping and forgot about it. He has made a £500 donation to the shop as a reward.

The Batford store on the Lower Luton Road is one of 24 in the UK, which collect donations of furniture and household goods, which are then restored and sold on.

Mr Browne said the sofa's arrival at the shop was "a freak thing" as it was picked up by another branch which did not have room for it.

'A shock'

He revealed that on inspection, a "reasonably sized bag was tucked in it", which he threw over his shoulder on to a chair.

"I remembered it about two hours later, and had - I won't call it a surprise - it was a shock," he said.

Staff had a "fair suspicion" who owned it as there had only been two donations that day, but decided to call the police.

"If we had gone to both customers and said 'have you lost that money?', they would have said, 'well, actually yes,'" Mr Browne explained.

He added that the owner of the money worked in a business which handled cash transactions.

"He was going out one night and didn't have time to do what he would normally do with it," he said.

"So he thought he would put it somewhere where he would remember it at the end of that evening, and didn't."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites