Homeless Man Can Keep $77K He Found by River

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on June 15, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you're looking to improve your luck, you may want to seek out Timothy Yost. This homeless Texas man recently found a large sum of money - while walking through the park.

Yost found a bag partially buried near the Colorado River in a park in Bastrop, Texas. When he kicked it, he realized it was full of money, almost $77,000 in various currency.

But for the last few months it wasn't clear if the city would let him keep the money.

A bank teller reported Yost to police after he tried to exchange wet $100 bills for dry ones, assuming the money had been stolen. Police took the money into custody to determine if it was connected to any reported crimes.

After checking their records and contacting the FBI, officers determined that the sum, in the form of 70 $100 bills and 40 collectible South African gold coins called Krugerrand, was legit.

The city then advertised the money in the local paper in an attempt to find the rightful owner. While several people responded to the ad, the money went unclaimed.

So it looks like Mr. Yost is coming up in the world.

Yost is lucky that he found this money in Texas, rather than in another state.

Texas accepts the famous "finder's keepers" justification as part of its common law. Authorities must attempt to contact the rightful owner of any buried property and give any possible owner the opportunity to respond to the inquiry. So long as no one comes forward during that time and the money wasn't stolen or otherwise criminally obtained, the finder can petition to keep the funds.

Yost, with the help of attorney Aleta Peacock, petitioned the city to return the money. The city council of Bastrop voted unanimously to do just that.

Yost is currently being held for criminal trespass, a common charge laid against homeless people who don't necessarily have anywhere to go. But his first purchase with the found money, as reported to Fox 7 News: A car, so he can rest his feet.

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