An armored truck spilled its trove on a California highway Friday, triggering a cash-grab frenzy that resulted in two arrests, authorities said.
The truck’s door flew open around noon. 9, and sent bills flying over Interstate 5 near Carlsbad, stopping traffic as drivers got out of their cars to snatch what they could, according to the California Highway Patrol.
An adult couple, a man and a woman, were arrested on suspicion of taking some of the money after being locked out of their vehicle on the roadway, the CHP said.
A video posted on TikTok by user Demi Bagby showed drivers feverishly picking up bills. Some shouted for joy as they posed with their prey in the middle of the road while traffic stood still.
“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” Bagby says in the video. “San Diego has shut down, it’s literally shut down.”
The driver of the armored truck tried to retrieve the money – before realizing how futile his efforts were – and then began registering those who took the money.
Around 10 a.m., CHP officers were on the scene, keeping drivers off the highway and picking up bills, which they put in plastic bags, according to Fox 5 San Diego.
Law enforcers demand that anyone who has taken money from the road return them immediately. It is not clear exactly how much cash was taken.
“If you found money on the highway, it’s not your money,” CHP Sergeant Martin said at an afternoon press conference. “It belongs to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and this armored truck and the bank. It needs to be returned.”
The vehicle from Sectran Security, Inc., was stopped on the highway when officials investigated how the doors opened.
Travis Fisher initially thought there had been an accident when traffic stopped, he told Fox 5.
He said he thought drivers who left their vehicles and ran ahead hurried to help – before he saw all the money.
“There was a bunch of cars in front of me that all stopped, stopped completely,” he said. “I see all these things floating around and I realize it’s money. It was pretty crazy. Just everywhere there was a sea of banknotes, everywhere.”
He estimated that there were thousands of dollars on the road.
The FBI has joined the CHP in the investigation.