“I’m giving away free money!” shouted Jack Nicholson‘s Joker in the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton starring as the Dark Knight. People often want to get something for nothing, and it happened recently in a town in Pennsylvania.

Here’s that intriguing story at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette website:

>>Thousands of dollars went missing this afternoon after the doors of a bank courier van opened, causing bags of money to spill out onto the road and people to gather in a frenzy.

Upper St. Clair police Lt. James Englert said people had pulled alongside the road and were trying to collect money when police arrived on Route 19 near Boyce Road to help a driver from Fidelity Courier Services in Sharon, Pa., collect the cash at about 1 p.m.

The courier driver stopped after another driver flagged him down and told him cash was flying out of his car. Police suspect all of the cash, which came in various denominations, was lost in that intersection.

Police recovered about $400, but Lt. Englert said several bags containing “well into six figures” remained missing Wednesday night.

“This is not a free-for-all situation,” he said. “Obviously, this money is…bank property.”

Lt. Englert said police intend to give people a reasonable amount of time to “come to their senses” and return any money they might have taken. After that, he said, they could charge people with theft.

Police are asking anyone who collected money or anyone who might have seen the hubbub to contact them at 412-833-7500.<<

I’d like to believe that people would be honest enough to turn the money in, but my realistic side thinks it’s likely gone for good.

Here’s a story where someone posing as a courier robbed a bank:

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