By Rachel Wulff

AUBURN (CBS13) — What would you do if you found $14,000 in cash? That’s the decision an Auburn woman had to make after she stopped to pick up what, at first glance, she thought was garbage.

“I was doing what I should hope someone else would do for me,” said Jill James, who found the money. 

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James was driving on Old Airport Road on Wednesday afternoon when she saw what appeared to be waste papers on the road.

“I got out thinking I was being punked or something,” James said.

There were hundreds of bills — 100s, 20s, and 10s — lying on the ground.

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“There was a little bit of wind so I was literally grabbing them off the ground and trying to hold onto them,” James said. “I had so many in my hands I couldn’t fit them all.”

With the help of another woman who stopped, James collected all of the money she could find.

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“I was like, ‘I am going to take this to the Auburn Police Department because this looks like someone’s life savings,’” James said.

It turns out the money belonged to a businessman had reportedly placed the cash on the tire of his vehicle and then drove away.

“The Placer County Sheriff’s Office had received a report of missing currency and we were aware of the call and were able to put two and two together,” said Placer County sheriff’s Sergeant Tucker Huey. “He was able to describe how he had it…his path was, and where he likely lost it.”

Huey says this kind of thing happens often, just not with such a large amount of cash.

James’ story made its way to social media where she’s become quite a big deal, according to her four daughters. But she says it’s all in a day’s work.

“I would hope people out there would do the right thing because it’s all about karma-karma takes you a long way,” she said.

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