McHenry Co. man finds $150K in back yard

August 31, 2011 3:18:21 PM PDT
A man in unincorporated McHenry County found more than $100,000 in an unlikely place -- his own back yard.

Near the town of Johnsburg, Ill., Wayne Sabaj was cooking a roast Monday when he decided that broccoli from his garden would be the perfect complement. He walked over to the garden and spotted several bags, thinking it was litter.

"So I went over, picked it up, took it to the picnic table, opened it up and said, 'Wow, it is a bunch of money.' Then came into the house, looked at my dad and said, 'Now we are really in trouble,' " said Sabaj.

He brought the money inside where he and his dad sat at the kitchen counter and counted the bills. They said it totaled nearly $150,000. They immediately agreed they would call police. Well, almost immediately.

"I went and made a drink to calm down. I haven't worked in two years. Yeah, I was like, 'I could really use this money,' " he told ABC7. "With my luck, it would be bank robbery and I'd get caught and [they would] say I'd robbed a bank."

Sabaj said he decided to turn in the money because he figured the cash would cause more problems than it solved.

"Somebody is going to come back when you leave that much money in your back yard. So I didn't want nothing to do with it," said Sabaj.

"We decided we'd be better off to turn it in," said Mitchell Sabaj, father. Any regrets? "Nah. Not me. But he might have. I'm an old man ready to kick the bucket."

"He did the right thing," said McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren. "I would commend him for that."

The McHenry County sheriff has custody of the cash. Detectives are waiting to see if anyone claims it.

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