A county garbage operations employee found a plastic bag on the road stuffed with $65,000 Thursday — and immediately turned it in to authorities.
It turned out the money had fallen off a Loomis armored car a half hour before Debbie Cole found it near the Pinellas County solid waste operations facility where she works. First she thought it was a turtle in the road.
The 53-year-old Largo woman found the bag just before 7 a.m., full of enough $50 and $100 bills to pay her salary for two years. She immediately contacted a supervisor, who called deputies.
It’s not clear how the bag fell from the truck, said Mark Clark, spokesman for Loomis, a Houston-based cash-handling company.
Cole’s boss, Bob Hauser, said he can’t give her a raise or a bonus for her good deed because she’s a government employee. But maybe, he said, he can arrange some extra time off.
Cole, who grew up in Long Island, said she was raised to be honest. She said she raised her four daughters the same way.
Did she think for just a minute about keeping the money?
‘‘Everyone keeps asking me that,’’ Cole said. ‘‘To be honest, no. It didn’t even cross my mind.’’