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Ontario man reunited with $100K stashed inside old recycled TV

The 68-year-old forgot all about his secret stash and had given his television to a friend who dropped it off to be recycled.

An Ontario ran was reunited with his large stash of cash, after he forgot he had stored it inside an old TV, which he gave away to a friend.

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An Ontario ran was reunited with his large stash of cash, after he forgot he had stored it inside an old TV, which he gave away to a friend.

About 30 years ago an Ontario man stuffed a wad of cash and banking documents inside a box, opened up the back of his television and hid the package inside.

He then didn't give it much thought until detectives came to his home near Peterborough, Ont., last month carrying the box and asking him if he knew what it contained. 

It turned out the 68-year-old had forgotten all about his secret stash — amounting to $100,000 —and had given his television to a friend who dropped it off to be recycled. The cash was only discovered when the set was recently dismantled at a depot.

"He was quite surprised and excited that it was returned to him," said Const. Nicole Rodgers of Barrie police. "I think it's amazing."

Police discovered that the man — whose name they did not release — thought he still had his stash squirrelled away at home, Rodgers said.

Growing up, the man stored money around the house and it was a practice he continued throughout his life, she said.

"They didn't use a lot of institutions or banks," she said. "He had put it in a really safe place and that place was inside the TV."

The man told detectives the money came from an inheritance given to him by his parents, Rogers said. But after forgetting about the cash, he gave the television that held the stash to a friend a few years ago, Rodgers said.

About a year ago, that friend recycled the television, which ended up at Global Electric Electronic Processing, a recycling plant in Barrie.

On Friday Jan. 13, a woman working at the plant began dismantling the television, said GEEP's vice president of operations Lew Coffin.

"It was all $50 bills," Coffin said. "And that's a big stack of $50 bills."

The employee took the cash and banking documents found in the television to her supervisor, who conferred with the plant's manager and police were called, Coffin said.

Someone at the recycling plant's finance office then counted the money and dropped it in a safe until police arrived a few days later.

Telling police about the discovery was a no-brainer, Coffin added.

"That's the way the company operates and that's the values of the company," he said, adding he is really proud of the employee who found the cash. "We were certainly appreciative and showered her with thanks."

Police discovered that the banking documents in the television dated to 1985 and included contact information, Rodgers said. And since the man hadn't moved in more than three decades, investigators found him quickly.

Police also asked the RCMP to see if the money was counterfeit or linked to a crime. The cash came back clean, Rodgers said. So they began talking to the 68-year-old man.

"You don't call them up and say hey, 'we have some money,'" Rodgers said. "We had detectives go out and speak to them in person."

Police discovered that the man was a business owner, discovered when his parents retired and spent a month investigating the situation.

Rodgers said the man and his family were "ecstatic" when the cash was returned.

"They said the money will be in a safe place," Rodgers said, adding that she didn't know if that meant inside their home or at a bank. "I hope they learned their lesson — or at least make a note on the fridge where it is."

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