Homeless Man Can Keep $77,000 He Found In Park, Court Rules

Nathan Francis

A homeless man who found $77,000 in wet cash and South African coins in a Texas park will now be able to keep the loot after the city ruled the money belonged to him.

Timothy Yost found the money in a bag when he was washing his feet in the Colorado River in January, Yahoo News reported. He told police that he kicked the bag to see what was inside and heard a jingle, and when he opened it found wads of wet cash and coins from South Africa.

Yost tried to exchange the coins at a local bank, but a bank teller tipped off the police and the city of Bastrop ultimately held the money while police investigated whether it was related to illegal activity.

The money remained in the evidence room at the police department for 30 days while they determined it was not related to any crimes, and on March 1 police placed a notice in the newspaper. After the mandatory 90 day period passed and the city was unsuccessful in finding the rightful owner, Bastrop City Council voted 6-0 to give the money to Yost.

"Under common law in Texas, typically if it is buried and we are not able to find the rightful owner for the funds within the prescribed time period, then the finder of the funds can petition to be awarded those funds," Chief Michael Blake with the Bastrop Police Department told Austin's Your News Now.

Alena Peacock, Yost's representative, told the Austin Statesman that the homeless man's stroke of luck will net him 70 $100 bills and 40 Krugerrand gold coins within the next 48 hours.

"It is a great day for Bastrop; it is a great day for Mr. Yost," Peacock told the Statesman.

But first the homeless man will have to wait—he is currently in jail on public intoxication and criminal trespass charges.