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Teenager finds $1,500 in cash on Juno Beach, turns it in to police

Posted: 5:36 PM, Apr 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-18 04:03:56-04
Teenager finds $1,500 in cash on Juno Beach, turns it in to police

You could do quite a bit with $1,500, but 14-year-old Billy Reid decided to do the right thing when he found that much money in cash on Juno Beach last Saturday.

Billy, a ninth grader at Palm Beach Day Academy, was out participating in a walk for autism with the Teen Golf Association through The First Tee of the Palm Beaches when he looked down at the sand and made a find of a lifetime.

“I saw this stack of money that was half buried," Billy said.

He spotted what he at first thought was a $100 bill in the sand. 

“I thought it was a prank at first," he said. "I thought there was fishing line attached to it and someone was hiding in a bush or something and they were just going to pull it away.”

When Billy picked it up, he realized it was a lot more than that. The bills added up to $1,500.

"I held it right up to my face. I was in shock," he said. "I looked around to see if anybody was like, 'Oh my gosh, that’s my money.' A woman behind me, her mouth was wide open. She was like, 'What the heck just happened? How did I not see that?'"

For the question that came next, Billy immediately knew the answer.

"Certain people were like, 'If I found that, I was going to keep it,'" he said. "I was certain that I was going to give it back. If I was in that situation, I knew that I would want someone to turn it in."

He found a Juno Beach police officer and handed it over.

"They said it was a lot of money," he said.

Billy has learned about integrity and honesty through The First Tee of The Palm Beaches.

“Responsibility, courtesy, caring, just all those sorts of things, so it was kind of instinct," he said.

“We’re trying to make better leaders. Not necessarily better golfers," said Carl Mistretta, executive director of The First Tee of The Palm Beaches.

That's why the most shocking part of the story to Mistretta wasn't necessarily Billy's good deed.

“I wasn’t very surprised at all that we decided to turn it in," he said. "What really surprised me was that somebody lost that much money on a beach.”

Juno Beach police turned the money over to Jupiter police, who say it hasn't been claimed yet.

There are some defining characteristics of what Billy found that will help police determine the rightful owner.

Billy said if any of the money ends up coming back to him, he'll put it into savings.