Best Buy Employees Find $10,000 Hidden In Computer Tower

A man in St. Louis dropped off his computer for repair at the area Best Buy, but apparently forgot that he was also using it as a bank. “Employees at a Best Buy store in South County discovered about $10,000 cash inside,” writes the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

According to the article, the employees called the police, “who ran a background check on the owner and checked the serial numbers on the bills stashed inside the tower.” Nothing suspicious turned up, so they returned the money.

What kind of person stashes his savings in his computer tower and then forgets about it? The same kind who takes his computer to Best Buy for repair. Hooray! We were wondering how to spin this into something snarky and we managed to do it!

Pete, who sent us the tip, notes that there’s an important lesson here: “Before you take your computer in for repairs, please remove your money.”

“Best Buy employees find cash inside computer” [St. Louis Post Dispatch]
(Photos: karindalziel, AMagill)


Edit Your Comment

  1. alexcassidy says:

    The dumbass is strong with this one…

    • schiff says:

      @alexcassidy: The name is dummass :-)

      • layton59 says:

        @schiff:That’s MR. DUMMASS to you. I only hide my $10,000 bundles in my VHS player. Nobody in their right mind is going to steal that, and it never needs repair due to being obsolete. True story: I just took my separate VHS rewinder off my tv stand today. I have not used it for years. I was hooking up my TV for the upcoming digital change-over. By the way, remember when the video stores all had signs saying “BE KIND, REWIND”? Seems like decades ago.

        • HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @layton59: OK, see now I know you’re lying. There’s no room in a VHS player anyway. It’s filled with thousands of dollars worth of other equipment:

    • HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @alexcassidy: That’s why I keep something in my computer to let the tech know to move along:

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave: These arent the nerds you are looking to rip off?

      • HogwartsAlum says:



      • nerdtalker says:

        @HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave: Holy crap, where can I get one of those?

        • HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @nerdtalker: It’s a Micro-Machine mini-figurine. I found a whole bunch of them in some boxes in the trash when some parent cleaned out the kids room. Whenever I do a computer set-up, I leave one somewhere. This was inside a old AMD I turned into a NAS box, and decided Yoda would watch over my Jedi Archive. I have a Luke in Stormtrooper one attached to my monitor at home, an Ewok on my monitor at work, and had a Boba Fett next to my webcam on my TV in my living room(my cat bit it’s head off).

          To replace Boba, I went on eBay, and ended up ordering 14 other ones, like: a Taun Taun, Hans in normal clothes and in stormtrooper, Slave Girl Leia, Darth Vader, Darth Sideous, two Boba’s, three stormtroopers, and the greatest, an Admiral Ackbar [] . I’m hoping I can use one of the new Boba’s to mold a new head for the old one, or if that fails to hold, take the head and headless body, and re-create Jango Fett.

  2. 3drage says:

    Good thing the employees were honest for a change.

    • floraposte says:

      @3drage: Here I was theorizing that they actually found $20k and kept $10k as a silent finder’s fee.

    • XTC46 says:

      @3drage: what do you mean for a change? Ive worked in several customer service jobs, including at a big box electronics store, and while employees may be highly misinformed about things, they certainly were not thiefs for the most part. Have you had things stolen from you in the past by a store employee?

      • Wombatish says:

        @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: Go read the archive for all the stories about things being stolen and replaced with bricks/paving stones, or stolen and then returned and sold as new, or just plain “lost”. Go read about naked pictures stolen off people’s hard drives because of a “code 69” on their repair ticket….

        While those employees are certainly not the majority, theft is out there, and in a fairly big way.

        I can’t imagine that you weren’t constantly hounded about “Shrink” or the Anon. Employee Tip Line (to report insider abuse and theft).

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: most of the places i have worked the employees only stole from the employer. i’ve had to fire a few retail employees for helping themselves

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @xtc46 – thinksmarter on twitter: For the love of God, please tell me you’re new to Consumerist.

  3. White Speed Receiver says:

    He must be a newer employee.

  4. snazz says:

    i question their motives for calling the police and running the backround check. money isnt illegal, its not like he had child porn on his computer. they should respect their customer’s privacy and return any misc items they find, money included.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @snazz: They probably called the police because it was a large sum of money. This way it’s documented they found the money, probably falls under store policy. It wasn’t the store who said “run the serial numbers!”.

      • snazz says:

        @AlteredBeast: i guess i can believe store policy, but that still sucks that they would report non-illegal customer items to the police. large sum aside, money isnt illegal to have. I can see it raising some concern based on preconceived notions, but there is nothing inherently wrong with having money.

        • nakedscience says:

          @snazz: But they found some random, large sum of money in a really weird place. $10k in a computer isn’t normal. It’s not like it was some random $100 bill that accidently fell out of a pocket. It was $10k. Hidden in a very strange spot. I don’t see a problem with the police making sure it wasn’t illegal. Also, the guy was a fucking idiot leaving $10k in a computer that he sent out to repair.

          • Radi0logy says:

            @nakedscience: Oh I didn’t realize that hiding money in the computer makes it OK to just assume that its there for illegal reasons.

            • HogwartsAlum says:

              I would TOTALLY have assumed it was something fishy. Who hides money in their computer?

              Who has $10,000 in cash lying around?

          • ranchdressing says:

            @nakedscience: So what if this unusual storage place seems “isn’t normal” to you? It’s legal, and people often hide money in their homes. In the old days, people didn’t have many indoor hiding places, so they buried it in the yard. Who doesn’t get a bit soul sick when contemplating banks these days? I also get a bit soul sick at the fact that this person hid his/her money in an object that itself has a high potential for being stolen. Choose ugly and nondescript places to hide your cash.

            Self-reliant people thread their own needles, fix their own cars, and bank their own money in vaults they dig out of the same ground they dig up potatoes. Anymore, I don’t get up in the morning, stretch and say, “Just for today, I think I’ll trust my paycheck, my savings and my financial future to a bunch of government subsidized professional thieves, extortionists and liars.”

            The same people who save their $$ for a rainy day in coffee cans are often so busy working to prepare for that day they forget they have a nest egg. There’s a metaphor lurking in there somewhere. Come about 2080, PC cases, hollowed out Red Bull cans and the bottoms of microfiber reclining sofas will be that era’s sunken treasure chest or buried coffee can.

        • K-Bo says:

          @snazz: They weren’t reporting the customer, they were covering their own butt. It’s standard procedure when large amounts of money are found to have it documented as soon as possible by authorities, in case the person it belongs to claims that it was not all returned. Had to do it at the dry cleaner I worked at when a guy left a large (~$1000) amount of cash in his pocket.

        • bibliophibian says:

          @snazz: I have to wonder if they didn’t call the cops to ask, “The rule is still ‘finders-keepers,’ right?” Heh.

          On a different angle: Having just sent my son’s computer in for repair (through the school, which owns it, *whew*) due to overheating, I am a little freaked out about the idea of putting (paper) money inside a computer tower. I know that towers have a lot more “breathing room” and bigger fans than most laptops, but wouldn’t that still be a big fire hazard? Presumably one would put money in a hiding place like that to keep it safe, but if it catches fire…?

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            I am a little freaked out about the idea of putting (paper) money inside a computer tower.

            @bibliophibian: Me too. In fact, that’s the second thing I thought when reading the headline (like cmkennedy my first thought was that someone called the police).

          • jennybeth says:

            @bibliophibian: I’m not sure what the temperature has to be for money to catch on fire, but if the computer starts overheating that bad, it shouldn’t be on long enough for the bills to light up. Most computers have temperature gauges in them to shut off the computer at certain temps to prevent the parts from being damaged from the heat.

            Although I guess I could see a case where there are shoddy parts or short circuits that could affect it, but I thought the chemicals on cash made it difficult to burn (I don’t know if that’s the case, I was just under that impression).

            However, $10,000 cash is what, at least 100 $100 dollar bills? Depending on how they were stored, I could see where the money would help cause his computer to overheat.

            • bibliophibian says:

              @jennybeth: @Ratty: Ah, I was forgetting about the “shut itself off/burn itself completely out” part of the equation; thanks.

              Really stupid of me to forget that, since that’s exactly what happened to my son’s computer… I must be tireder than I realize.

          • Ratty says:

            @bibliophibian: Consider momentarily that a computer is running dangerously hot by 80C and can burn itself completely out around 100C, and that money likely won’t burn until after 200C, and I’d safely say it’s not a fire hazard. A circulation and cooling obsctruction, yes, but not a fire hazard.

            • Wombatish says:

              They called the Police because they found something strange and possibly illegal, in my opinion.

              Could’ve been money, paraphernalia (which isn’t a crime in many parts of the country, but the police are still allowed to consider it provable cause.. just like large sums of cash) or something actually illegal.

          • DreamTheEndless: Death's little brother says:

            @bibliophibian: A very ‘hot’ computer is around 180 degrees f. If things are going very wrong, maybe 190 or god forbid, 200; although the cpu would likely underclock itself or just shut down if it got that hot.

            According to Ray Bradbury, paper burns at 451 f, so this likely isn’t an issue.
            (I’m considering normal operation, and leaving out the unlikely possibility of shorts or failed fans in the power supply or video card)

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @AlteredBeast: It’s definitely not store policy. They don’t call the police if they find nude pictures on the computer. Because those are not illegal. They had no right to call the police over something legal. And the police had no right to run a background check just because the guy has money.

        • Gramin says:


          Illinois v. Gates (1983) would apply in this situation. The discovery of $10,000 provides law enforcement enough probable cause to further investigate the matter. Upon such investigation, no criminal activity was discovered and the money was returned to the customer

        • Kogenta says:

          @Corporate_guy: Unless hyperinflation his the US when I wasn’t looking and people carried around tens of thousands of dollars to buy groceries, I’m sure it classifies as suspicious activity.

          I mean you don’t only call police if something illegal is happenning. If someone’s wandering around your neighbourhood at night wearing all black and carrying a baseball bat, I’m sure someone would call the cops to report suspicious activity and then let the police decide if they want to investigate further.

        • stopNgoBeau says:

          @Corporate_guy: They had every right to call the police. There is nothing limiting anyone from picking up the phone and asking for a police officer to assess a situation.

          • sponica says:

            @stopNgoBeau: I agree…as someone who has worked in various retail stores, if I found a wad of money in either a product return or while cleaning out the movie theater, I would DEFINITELY turn it into the police. Or my manager would make that call. Someone once left their entire cashed paycheck at my register, I passed it on to my shift manager who was about to call the district manager for advice when some frantic woman came in looking for an envelope of cash. Now this woman knew the amount to the dot, so we gave it to her but I have a feeling if we didn’t and turned it over to the cops we were going to get an angry sh*tstorm.
            Honestly my manager prob would have turned the money over to the police so that those employees with sticky fingers didn’t take it

    • FoxCMK says:

      @snazz: I knew as soon as I read that headline that the police would be involved, there would be background checks, and the man would likely have to answer a bunch of questions in order to get his money back. Have to say I’m glad I was wrong in assuming he wouldn’t have gotten it all back.

      Large sums of cash in this country = guilty of some kind of crime until proven innocent.

      • PillowTalk says:

        @cmkennedy: @Gokuhouse:

        Well, as many people have said – it has to be reported immediately to prevent any claims hat some of it disappeared (as well as helping preventing any employee with sticky fingers from making off with a couple hundred). It’s protecting the consumer as much as it’s protecting the company. I’m willing to be you’d be spitting tacks if this was you, and you got the money back minus 500 bucks or so with no way to prove it since the company made no effort at documentation, but you’re complaining that the company shouldn’t make any official report to the authorities about it. I don’t normally defend Best Buy, but this is a rather damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

        Moving on, you’re saying it not high enough amount to believe it’s been stolen – which is silly to say. First off, those who steal large amounts tend to break it up into smaller amounts to store it. Only an idiot would keep all the money in one place. Then, if it’s not stolen, it could easily be drug money or something else though. People who choose not to deposit their money are choosing to stay off the grid, for one reason or another. While it’s not illegal to do so, it’s incredibly suspicious. One can easily say the majority of people who choose not to store money in a bank do so because they procured that money through illicit means. By choosing to store your money yourself, you have to accept that scrutiny upon discovery of this is one of the risks, along with the possibility of being financially ruined should an unfortunate house fire/robbery/etc occur.

        • Gokuhouse says:

          @PillowTalk: I find you to be too suspicious for even mentioning someone going “off the grid”. Have you in the past taken that action?

          Anyway, he may have had his reasons for not wanting his money “in the grid”, and I will stand by him having that right. It’s not weird or wrong in any way whatsoever for him to keep his money “off the grid”. If he chooses so, then so be it.

          Let’s just pretend you’re a cop for a moment. What if you saw someone buying a hot dog at a street vendor and he had a large wad of cash, would you report it because nobody should be carrying large wads of cash anymore. Only debit and credit are needed nowadays. You work for the city so you would have the authority to question him about his large amount of cash….Would you believe it’s okay to do so?

          • nakedscience says:


            Let’s just pretend you’re a cop for a moment. What if you saw someone buying a hot dog at a street vendor and he had a large wad of cash, would you report it because nobody should be carrying large wads of cash anymore.

            This is not the same thing. They found a random, hidden $10k in a computer that was sent to repair.

          • PillowTalk says:


            Wow, really? If you were going to accuse me of seeming suspicious, you should at least go for how I would know to split up the money from a robbery, rather than my use of the phrase “off the grid”.

            Anyway, you’re missing the point. I never said it wasn’t his right. It’s certainly not illegal. I simply said that if someone does decided to store their money themselves, they need to accept that they may come under scrutiny for such actions, because it’s considered abnormal, and is generally a cue to law enforcement and others that there may be something fishy going on.

            Your example falls apart right at the start. It’s one thing for someone to carry a large wad of cash, it’s another for someone to store $10,000 in their computer. Here’s a more accurate example of what’s going on:

            I am a cop who sees a guy buy a hot dog from a hot dog vendor with a large wad of cash. Then I watch him sidle into an alley and hide the hot dog and walk away. There’s nothing illegal about hiding a hot dog, no laws have been broken. But there’s sure something suspicious about that, and I’m going to check it out to make sure it’s on the up-and-up. Maybe he’s just a harmless loon who gets kicks out of hiding hot dogs, or maybe he’s made some sort of awful hot dog dirty bomb. Either way, I should be sure.

            If the only things cops ever investigated were things that were flagrantly and obviously illegal, like someone stealing right in front of their face, things would be in chaos. The very notion that it is somehow infringing on your rights just to be considered suspicious (when engaging in suspicious behaviour, no less!) is ridiculous. There are certain cues, things to look out for and look into, and hiding large wads off cash in one’s home is one of those cues.

            • Gokuhouse says:

              @PillowTalk: I’m not going to make this long. You are brushing aside people’s rights to be different and saying if someone is odd they will be flagged by the authorities for it. If someone doesn’t fit the patterns of the “norm” you will flag them as possibly dangerous. Generations change and nobody will fit the norm forever. Let’s just hope you always fit the norm otherwise in a world the way you want it you will be in trouble with the law.

              • PillowTalk says:

                @Gokuhouse: @Gokuhouse:

                What? I’m not brushing aside people’s right to be different at all. Please actually read what I am writing. You have the right to do whatever you want, but if it’s a behaviour that is exhibited by many criminals, do not be surprised if you are considered suspicious.

                Also, I get what your little speech is about, but you’re talking to someone who crusades for trans and genderqueer people, and trying to tell me about society’s norms? Please. As a person who bucks most social norms, even I acknowledge that doing something that is most often done by the criminal contingent would be reason for someone to be suspicious of me. I wouldn’t be pissed if I was investigated, because I had invited it with the behaviour. I would only be pissed if I was arrested or charged, neither of which is happening here.

                Once again: engaging in a behaviour usually exhibited by criminals will make you look suspicious, and is a reason to be investigated by the police. No one said you’d be arrested for it – that would indeed be trampling on your rights. Things aren’t so black and white as “this is not illegal, thus I should not draw any scrutiny” – if that were the case, child welfare services, the FBI, etc, would be rendered useless, as almost all of those bureaus begin investigating based on suspicious circumstances and then try to build a case that such circumstances do indeed lead to criminal behaviour. If they find nothing, that the person is just a bit odd and doesn’t know it, they go about their lives most likely not even knowing it happened. There’s nothing there showing that someone CAN’T be odd, or somehow doesn’t have the right to be odd.

                Anyway, to be totally frank, you still haven’t responded to how reporting this was also protecting the consumer from loss of their money.

                • sponica says:

                  @PillowTalk: because…if they just called the customer and said money was in the office, someone with sticky fingers may have “helped” themself to it. and then what recourse would this customer have. calling the police and saying “i left 10k in my computer and they stole it.”

                  seriously if BB had done that, they’d be the scourge of all the angry posters saying, “why didn’t you turn it over to the police?”

              • RandomZero says:

                @Gokuhouse: There’s a big difference between “trouble with the law” and “answering a few stupid questions”. Part of a cop’s job is prevention, so they respond to anything that trips their trouble radar – which generally means anything that strikes them as strange. Is it necessarily illegal? No. Neither is a Canadian driving in the US, but it got my father at gunpoint once. RPG books, hip flasks, and hot peppers are all perfectly legal – and I’ve had the police ask me questions for every one of them, and thought they were justified in checking things out. If they’d arrested me, that would be over the line, but asking “What’s this, and what are you doing with it?” is perfectly within their rights.

                (As an aside, you have NO idea how hard it is to stay straight-faced and polite when a cop – against your advice – takes a big deep whiff of your habanero peppers, and spends the next minute or so coughing and gagging.)

    • OwenCatherwood says:

      @snazz: That assumes the computer (and the money) was his to begin with. With that amount of money, I’d rather the police make sure someone else isn’t out $10,000 and a computer.

      • RStui says:

        @OwenCatherwood: This is what I was thinking too. It’s impossible for me to forget about the “rainy day $20” they tell you to put in your coat pockets as a way to “brighten your own day”.

        $10K. No. Way. Would I be able to forget that.

        • HogwartsAlum says:


          I did that once and forgot it. I found it as I was packing up the coat to get rid of it. Good thing I went through the pockets!!!

    • nakedscience says:

      @snazz: The store didn’t do anything except call the cops. It’s probably pretty standard to run serial numbers on randomly hidden, large sums of money.

    • midwestkel says:

      @snazz: I would’ve pocketed the cash and quit Best Buy.

    • GMFish says:

      @snazz: Agreed. It’s because of our asinine drug war that having money is considered a crime.

      • Gokuhouse says:

        @GMFish: The war on drugs has done a lot to help druggies….Oh wait, they just put them behind bars? Oh, yeah I guess it hasn’t done much to help anyone. If they would finally realize that locking them up for 5 or 10 years doesn’t “fix” them they might start getting things done. I know a guy from personal experience who was in jail for 5 years because of his drug problem. He got out about 9 months ago and was doing great until him and his girlfriend broke up. After that he was doing drugs again and is now back in jail. I feel terrible for him because nobody fixed his drug problem they just locked him up.

      • bairdwallace says:

        @GMFish: I assume there are other crimes that generate large quantities of cash. Racketeering, prostitution, fencing, arms trading…

    • takes_so_little says:

      @snazz: I would guess it’s some form of CYA. If it ends up being drug money, they might be liable in… some… way…. uh… IANAL, but companies get more uptight about liability by the day.

    • Gokuhouse says:

      @snazz: $10,000 is a lot of money, but it’s not even close to high enough to believe it’s been stolen. My goodness, I would be furious if I were him.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Gokuhouse: What is a high amount of money? I can break into a convenience store cash register and steal $600, is that not enough to constitute theft? Why is $10,000 not close to the threshold?

        • Gokuhouse says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: Because people here in the US have money still. Maybe not me or you, but there are a great deal of citizens in this country that still have a lot of money. I have taken out thousands of dollars in cash before to make larger purchases. There is a much smaller inconvenience on my side rather than deal with my bank not letting the charge through. He could have taken the money out a few days early and maybe he lives with someone he couldn’t trust if they found the money and he was simply hiding it for a few days before making the purchase he took it out for.

      • nakedscience says:

        @Gokuhouse: ” My goodness, I would be furious if I were him. “

        You’re kidding, right? He left $10k in his computer, and sent it out for repair, and you think he should be furious that someone went through the right procedures to get it returned? Really?

        • Gokuhouse says:

          @nakedscience: The right procedures would be to call the guy up and tell him he left 10K in his computer. Tell him to come pick it up because it’s NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY!

          • nakedscience says:

            @Gokuhouse: YEAH IT KINDA IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, since the computer is under THEIR care. If it was drug money, it’s possible they could be held liable if something came about later. THINK.

            • Gokuhouse says:

              @nakedscience: There are many ifs in this story. Everything was based on speculation for what it could have been and that has put this guy in the situation where he was suspicious. Best Buy’s responsibilities do not include babysitting this guy’s $10,000. The only responsibility they have is to tell the guy his money was found. Calling the police on him is not of their concern. I don’t care what stupid policies Best Buy has on the matter.

            • DH405 says:

              @nakedscience: Yes. All caps makes right.

              No, it would not be their responsibility. If you drop a $100 bill that you just snorted cocaine thru in the bathroom 5 minutes, prior, you know what my liability is? Zero.

              We are not all little citizen police officers, out there to enforce the law at all costs, including liberties.

      • XTC46 says:

        @Gokuhouse: Im sure he was greatful he got his money back.

    • shepd says:


      Dunno about the states, but in Canada it is illegal (due to money laundering laws) to carry $10k or more without also carrying proof of the source of the money.

      I can link the legislation for the non-believers.

      • Unsolicited Advice says:


        We have similar policies. Cash deposits of 10K or more are subject to AML provisions designed to prevent criminals from using banks as cash laundromats. It was wise to call the police, privacy advocates be damned.

      • Hollasa says:

        @Snazz, if you could link to the legislation I’d appreciate it.

        I don’t know if you’re referring to the “Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act” act or not, but I’d appreciate a link to the section that says that.

    • rhys1882 says:

      @snazz: Welcome to the real world.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @snazz: yes they should. will that likely happen? not often.

  5. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    i’d like to add to the article – “before you take your computer in for repairs, remove your hard drives too” (assuming you don’t have a software-related problem)

    • GMFish says:

      @gStein: That is good advice. But anyone smart enough to do that would probably be too smart to take his PC to Best Buy.

      • Zclyh3 says:


        You took the words right out of my mouth.

      • Teapotfox says:

        @GMFish: Not only that, although that is an excellent point, almost anyone completely certain that the problem they’re having is hardware vs. software probably wouldn’t be taking it to Best Buy, either.

  6. backbroken says:

    Employee: “Hey boss! I just opened this computer and found $15,000 inside!”

    Boss: “You mean you found $10,000 inside.”

    Employee: “Riiiiiiiiight.”

  7. flamincheney says:

    Seems that this would be a great way to have your savings end up in flames.

    • coren says:

      @flamincheney: Computers generally don’t run hot enough to burn paper (and if they do they generally *stop* running) nor do they give off sparks. Really I’d think it’d be more hazardous to the computer than the money

    • HasPonies!Envy_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @flamincheney: @coren: Also remember that money is not “paper”, but more like a fabric. Besides, in many large cases, there is tons of unused space forward of the mobo and under the drive bays, unless they go from top to the extreme bottom.

      • Teapotfox says:

        @OMG! Stevies!: Seems like stuffing your case full of fabric would be a great way to encourage it to overheat, though. Wonder what the repair was for?

  8. dcarrington01 says:

    They sure it was only $10k, and not like 15-20? I’d watch the geek squad and make sure their acne doesn’t clear up or they get invisible braces!

  9. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    With the economy in the toilet, his money was gaining more interest in his computer tower than in a bank.

  10. takes_so_little says:

    @nakedscience: “…randomly hidden, large sums of money.”

    So, large sums of money left lying around in plain sight are less suspicious?

  11. diasdiem says:

    Stupid places to hide money or valuables:
    1.) “Disguised” containers placed in locations where it’s obvious they’re fake (i.e., fake soup can that you keep in your sock drawer) and hence have valuables.

    2.) Inside something that is also valuable and therefore likely to get stolen (like a COMPUTER)

    3.) Any lockable container that is still portable, like a cash box.

    • spindle789 says:

      @diasdiem: @Kamidari:

      You both beat me to the “why hide money in something that would likely be stolen?” comment.

      There are so many places that would be better to hide a large amount of money… like in a bank.

      • bibliophibian says:

        @spindle789: My assumption (based entirely on my own life experiences and observations) was that he was hiding the money from someone in his own family (probably someone with a drug addiction), not from random thieves.

        Most addicts won’t hesitate to swipe cash from the piggy bank or bedside drawer where they can convince themselves it might go unnoticed, at least for a while, but only the most extreme cases are going to be so brazen as to steal/pawn the family computer. Certainly it *does* happen, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. My brother is mentally ill with addiction problems, and he’ll take any scrap of cash he can get his hands on, but even he, in 18+ years of addiction and stealing from our parents, has never gone so far as to take something like their computer or TV.

        • bibliophibian says:

          @bibliophibian: Again, here I am referring to people stealing things from their own family members, not the typical break-and-enter-and-steal thieves.

          …must stop commenting until after nap…

        • nakedscience says:

          @bibliophibian: he was hiding 10k in cash? he clearly forgot about it, so it was there for some time. if it was a few hundred bucks, i’d see your point, but 10k? no.

      • Wombatish says:

        @spindle789: Banks are semi-likely to be stolen… just not all at once :P

    • coren says:

      @diasdiem: @spindle789: You’d be surprised – jewelry, cash, small light items of that sort are the ones that go – a heavyish box that’s going to have a fairly unknown value (good computers tend to be cheaper these days, and of course depreciate pretty quickly with age) makes it less of a tempting target

  12. Kamidari says:

    I find it odd that someone would hide cash in an item in their home that’s pretty likely to be stolen on its own anyway.

    • coren says:

      @Kamidari: Given the weight to value ratio, and the nature of thefts, unless you’re getting the whole house ripped off, the computer isnt as likely to get taken as one would think

      • Kamidari says:

        @coren: Could be… I don’t really know, other than those guys that rob houses on that TV show (can’t remember the name off-hand) seem to usually take it because it can contain all sorts of useful information for identity theft and whatnot.

        • coren says:

          @Kamidari: That’s a good point – but on It Takes a Thief they’re also doing worst case scenario (and I’ve seen them wipe out whole houses, or take flat screens). In those cases, you’re screwed regardless – they’re gonna find wherever you squirreled away ten grand. Hence keeping it not in the house

          Like in a bank

    • vastrightwing says:

      @Kamidari: Obviously it was safer in a computer than in his bank. $ left in a bank is waiting until the bank schemes a way to take it from you. For instance, deposit $250 in a savings account today. Later the bank will raise the minimum balance requirement to $500 and your money will disappear as they assess maintenance fees on it. Gone!

  13. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    Actually, cash transactions of $10,000 or more must be reported to federal authorities, not the local policy. Even a $10,000 cash bank deposit gets reported.

    Putting $10,000 into a store’s “lost and found” could arguably be defined as a “transaction,” so I see no problem with what Best Buy did.

    Did they fix the damn machine, at least?

  14. HomersBrain says:

    Just remember kids..its okay to keep cash in your computer but DO NOT throw spare change in there !

  15. scoosdad says:

    Someone probably told him his computer would run better if it had a lot of cache in it.

  16. edwardso says:

    Was the money the cause of the computer not working?

  17. pb5000 says:

    This reminds me of my delay at the Vegas airport. It’s pretty quite and I’m sitting in my seat when over the loudspeaker I hear, “attention, if someone lost $10,000 cash wrapped in a rubber band, please report to the security office immediately, we have your rubber band.”

    It was a magical sort of WTF moment.

  18. Vanilla5 says:

    Not gonna lie – I would’ve called the customer and told him, “Hey – I found something inside your computer that you might want to come pick up.” and hope for some silence money. A few hundred woulda done the trick.

  19. snazz says:

    @Radi0logy: that is my thinking of the situation and i would be angry at BB for assuming. but i see the point that everyone else is making, and probably if it was illegal, there would be some responsibilty on BB for it.

    • Gramin says:


      Best Buy was following a somewhat similar procedure (and law) required of all banks. If you deposit, withdraw or transfer $10,000 or more, the financial institution involved in the transaction is required to document that transaction on a form.

  20. temporaryerror says:

    Reminds me of the Wire, when the unit busts the main Barksdale stash house, the Dozer and Herc are in a room alone, flip over a mattress and find a bunch of cash. They both look at each other, look around, and stuff several bundles each under their vests.

    • DollaValueLIFO says:


      Indeed, especially then when they get freaked because the next time money went missing they hadn’t taken any.

      It also reminds me of the phone call Gus Haynes has w/ Nerese Campbell in S5, where he asked her about the 60k she had recieved from FF Rick, when the paper only uncovered 40k to that point…

      I miss that show

      • Portia Barrett says:

        @DollaValueLIFO: I miss the wire too. I just don’t understand how one can forget they have 10 grand stashed somewhere. Either the guy is loaded or he has hiding spots all over the house.

    • Teapotfox says:

      @temporaryerror: I must be tired… I read that as “bindles” and wondered when the boxcar hobos had entered the picture.

  21. coan_net says:

    I would think if someone is comfortable enough to take off the case & “hide” things inside of the computer, they would also be the kind of person who can fix their own computer.

    Also, inside a computer is a TERRIBLE hiding place, since if his house is robbed, a computer is usually one of the items that will be taken.

  22. Terabiter says:

    He was probably saving up to fill his iPod.

  23. Saboth says:

    And now homeland security swoops in and grills him on how he has 10k in this economy, and isn’t floundering around in misery and desolation like the rest of us peons.

    • FoxCMK says:

      @Saboth: “You need to spread the wealth, sir. We’ll start by spreading a couple G’s to DHS…”

    • TEW says:

      @Saboth: The problem is that it is over $10K. I can board a plane with $9,999.99 and the customs/ TSA agents might give me a couple bad looks but they can’t do anything however if I brake that $10K mark it makes a lot of agencies involved. You must declare anything over $10K and if you don’t the law can seize it for money laundering.

  24. Tankueray says:

    I’ve put a lot of money into computers over the years, but I’ve never actually put a lot of money in a computer!

    If he’s hiding that kind of cash in a computer, couldn’t one also assume he’s hiding cash all over his house? Is this an advertisement for the local thugs to break-in? Are police reports public information?

  25. thaShady says:

    Maybe he had $10k because he knows how much Geek Squad charges….

  26. almightytora says:

    I’m surprised in this economy, the worker didn’t take the money. I know most people would have. If he forgot that it was in there, the worker could have chalked it up to a “hot CPU” or something that burned it.

  27. Corporate_guy says:

    Call the police? WTH? Why would they call the police? This is absurd. He should take that money and sue Best Buy. It’s sad when people are criminals just for having money.

  28. JGKojak says:

    I am sympathetic to the “having money = a crime” idea- were you to have this 10K in cash on you, you’d likely be hauled in for questioning (say, if you were stopped for speeding and the officer saw the wad).

    However- this was probably to document the amount of cash, so they wouldn’t be accused of theft: where’s the other 40K I stashed in there!

  29. MrPenny says:

    Squirreling away wads of cash in a computer….strike one.

    Forgetting about it…..strike two.

    Taking a computer to Best Buy for “repair”….forget it, can’t even find the ballpark.

  30. Dwayne Windham says:

    Obviously many of you have never worked at a bank.


    In short, anything over $3000, they have to start asking questions. It’s the law. They literally couldn’t deposit the money anywhere without have to answer questions. At 10k, they would even have to fill out a Currency Transaction Report (CTR).

    It’s been going on for nearly 40 years folks. Please stop the “OMG! Obama is in our monies!! HELP! police state!!!!” garbage.

  31. Hoss says:

    Chris Walters: Is that your “photoshop” work? I have no idea how long that takes — but impressive!

  32. Nicholas Semrau says:

    You guys have it all wrong. He wasn’t hiding the money in his computer case, he was just making a down payment on the Geek Squad repair…

  33. HogwartsAlum says:

    He could give it to me. I’ll hide it in my kitty’s house. No one will ever find it there–oh wait.

  34. nakedscience says:

    @Gokuhouse: “that still have a lot of money”

    And these people don’t just hide $10k in their computer and then send that computer off to repair. Sorry, doesn’t work that way. The police were right in investigating.

  35. jenakle says:

    PC owner is a moron (see Best Buy repair).
    I bet he was trying to deposit money into his online account through the CD drive (CashDeposit).

  36. ICherub says:

    My first though was, “I hope that rig wasn’t running a Prescott”. Major fire hazard in and of itself, and that much more so with a bunch of flammable material enclosed in a tight space with it.

  37. JaideepG2002 says:

    Atleast he wasn’t in Texas. The cops would of threatned to take his kids away unless he gave them the 10k..

  38. Skaperen says:

    If you want to stash your money in a safe place inside you home, in objects that burglars will likely take is not it.

  39. komodork says:

    you know what we should do. Put a $100 bill in a tower and send a old lady there. She says my computer is not working, i think it is a virus. She leaves the computer there and leaves. When she gets it back, you check if the money is gone or not. Do this to all the best buys around the area and then take all of them (the ones that stole the money) to court for a huge lawsuit =). – provided you make videos of this prior and after for evidence.

    INSTANT $$$$$$

  40. cmdrsass says:

    Good job storing money in an object that a) is likely to be stolen during a burglary, and b) has a tendency to overheat.

  41. stevgex says:

    I bet the employee will be fired for failing to adhere to Best Buy’s customer service policies. Because if one employee starts being honest and helpful it may inspire others to do the same. Which would clearly be outside of BB’s apparent policies.

  42. meechybee says:

    Well I guess he thought it was safe against burglars. Because, you know, burglars are not interested in stealing computers…

  43. kz26 says:

    I guess he must have invested a lot of money in that computer.

  44. 1234tu says:

    So – to protect my money I am going to hide it in one of the most likely items to be stolen if someone breaks into my house??? That is a good plan! Remember this the next time someone writes in about some scam and it is followed by a million posts saying “I can’t believe anyone is stupid enough to fall for this.”

    • hypochondriac says:


      I guess it depends on the Crook and computer. My place was robbed, no one touched the computer. It was a custom built in a hideous beige case. Guess it looked to ugly to steal

  45. anduin says:

    amazing that it didnt burn, depending on the case, thats a really risky move

  46. fatcop says:

    He’s waiting for the barackolypse.

  47. savdavid says:

    Hmmmm…..who would put that kind of money in their computer and forget it? An idiot, sure. However, it sounds like drug dealing money to me. You have so much money coming in you forget where you put it all and since you use drugs your memory is a bit foggy. OR>> maybe all desktops have money in them….SMASH!!!!!!!!!

  48. DrRonster says:

    Best Buy would like to thank you for pre-paying!

  49. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    So… this pretty much guaranteed that Best Buy hasn’t lost his computer… yet.

  50. Anonymous says:

    With the economy in the toilet, his money was gaining more interest in his computer tower than in a bank.
    i just found this amazing website, it has all kind of businesses from a cleaning companies to estate agents to banks, all I have to do is just type in the business type, and the location and it gives me all the results in that particular area, this website has a huge database of all sorts of businesses, I just joined a driving school which I found on this website. I would recommend this site to all the people out there.

  51. banmojo says:

    A friend of mine once taught English in S Korea for a couple of years. He saved up a good sum of money, and on the day he was scheduled to leave to return to the states, on the way to the airport, carrying 4 bags, he accidentally left his knapsack on the metro, containing 25,000 usd in traveller’s checks, his passport, camera, and airplane tickets. 9 hours and 3 cans of maalox later a police office paged his Korean buddy, whose # they found in the address book in the bag – some high school girl had found the bag and had taken it immediately to the police station. He got back everything, minus a few pictures the cops took of themselves (which he treasures actually). True story. And he’s not a lame brain – people get distracted and can forget nearly anything!!

  52. GeekSquadagent says:

    1. The computer was incredibly old, heavy, and a double stack tower. Not likely to be a theft item if someone were to break into his house.
    2. The computer hadn’t been powered on in years. Therefore wasn’t a fire hazard.
    3. The employees there were by themselves.. where there is no cameras, or customers to prove that they discovered the money. This should prove major ethics!
    4. The customer had no way to prove that the money was in there, why would he be pissed when it was returned to them?
    5. The customer was not sure of the amount of money in the computer..but DIDNT count it when it was returned to him and was requested that he counted it to verify how much money was found.
    6. $10,400. $8,400 of it was in one hundred dollar bills, $2,000 of it was in fifty dollar bills.
    7. The police were called because that is what was instructed to the employees by corporate HR.

  53. redkamel says:

    sometimes I hide 1’s and 5’s in my clothes so I can find them later. This must be the same thing.

  54. diangelo says:

    What confuses me most about this is that a computer would be one of the first things a thief would grab so why put your money in that over something thats unattractive to run off into the night with…