New Mexico teen finds $135,000 cash next to ATM, turns over to police

A New Mexico teen found a bag filled with $135,000 next to an ATM machine and rather than keep the cash he turned the money over to police.

José Nuñez Romaniz, 19, was rewarded for his ethical decision.

"Man, we all know that temptation – even just take a little, just one of those bundles off the top, I mean that had to be really hard," joked Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, KRQE reported. "I'm just absolutely impressed."

City officials presented Nuñez with a plaque Thursday. He was also given a $500 check to pay for college costs from a utility company and a restaurant gave him gift cards and $500 cash, KRQE reported.

Nuñez is interested in a career in law enforcement and is studying to get a criminal justice degree. His ethical behavior was noted by officials who said the police department is hiring.

"What a great opportunity for us to see some good in the community," Albuquerque Police Chief Mike Geier told KRQE. "With all the tragedies we see with young people, this really restores our faith in the community as well."

Nuñez went to the ATM Sunday morning to get money to buy his grandfather some socks. He saw a clear bag with $135,000 in cash laying next to the machine. A contractor for Wells Fargo that was supposed to fill the ATM with cash had left the bag there on accident, KOB reported.

"In the back of my head, I was just thinking about my parents, especially my mom," he told KRQE. "What she would do if I came home with the money and what she would do with her chancla to hit me. I did the right thing and I know my parents are proud and my family is proud as well."

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