Home / Civil Rights / Waitress Gets $12,000 Tip. She Tells Cops. Cops Keep $11,000.
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Waitress Gets $12,000 Tip. She Tells Cops. Cops Keep $11,000.

Written by Gary North on April 10, 2012

A waitress was left a $12,000 tip. She was suspicious. She called the cops.

The cops told her she would get it back after 60 days if no one claimed it.

The police department than kept $11,000 and gave her  a $1,000 reward.

She is suing the police.

Basic to confidence in civil government is the belief that the police are not corrupt, that they are dedicated to protecting citizens. But then asset forfeiture laws enable the police to confiscate currency on the assumption that currency must be the producer of illegal behavior. They don’t bother to prove this. They just keep the money. The courts generally uphold the police.

Is this legalized theft? Of course.

In the waitress’s case, the cops say it’s drug money. Proof? None.

The cops promised to return the money in 60 days. After 90 days, she complained.

The police department then gave her a $1,000 reward.

When the media got hold of the story, the police department clammed up. OIn what basis? It’s an on-going investigation.

Nixon called this stonewalling. But he was not a crook. He said so. The police are not crooks, either. Just ask them.

Police argue that the money had a strong odor of marijuana and therefore falls under a law that allows for forfeiture of the money because it was in the proximity of a controlled substance, the lawsuit states. But there were no drugs in the box and Richie said he believes this law is not being used correctly.

What is the evidence? The cops asked their dog. “A police dog also performed a sniff test on the money and, according to the dog’s handler, discovered an odor.”

Two of Knutson’s co-workers, along with her son Brandon, were at the Fryn’ Pan the night she discovered the money. Her co-workers say they did not smell marijuana.

“I know the smell of marijuana,” Nickolas Fronning, a line cook at the Fryn’ Pan, said in an affidavit. “I can also assure you that there was no smell of marijuana on the bills or coming from the box.”

Like the dog, I detect an odor. It’s not marijuana.

Asset forfeiture rewards corruption. It is happening all over the English-speaking world. It has been since the mid-1980s. Police departments love the asset forfeiture laws. It’s like money in the bank.

It costs the property owner on average $10,000 in legal fees to get his property back. The cops kept $11,000. That makes good economic sense. Do the math.

Just don’t count the cost of the public’s loss of trust in the criminal justice system. That doesn’t count. Doubt me? Ask the dog.

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71 thoughts on “Waitress Gets $12,000 Tip. She Tells Cops. Cops Keep $11,000.

  1. The police are wrong on this one, Give the money back.

  2. tadwesley says:

    I'll bet she doesn't tell the cops next time. I know I sure won't!

  3. Michigan says:

    It's obvious there is not one bit of concrete evidence that this was drug money. She should get the money back and then some.

  4. Maryland28 says:

    A $12,000 tip is unusual, but not illegal. The greedy cops acted illegally, and took advantage of a poor waitress. They should be ashamed of their disgraceful actions.

  5. Lesson Learned, Keep the money, screw the cops in this case… Or hold the money for 90 days in a safe place, if no one claims it, then keep it…

  6. The best and most entertaining lesson on why you should never talk to the police I found here. Presented by — who better? — a law professor and a cop!

  7. Gary North is right again. This story is just another example of Government Gone Wild, and showing their utter contempt for us. Until we average, ordinary citizens become willing to serve in government in elective office for no more than a term or two, with no pensions or benefits, and then back to private life, this kind of thing will just escalate until……..?

  8. John Stewart says:

    This sounds typical of most police departments, large or small. They needed all $11,000 to persue this trumped up case? It sounds like a lot civil service excuses. Bring in the union, maybe they can bully her.

  9. Most cops are corrupt when it comes to money. They make peanut saleries. Whats the lesson learned here?? Dont call the cops for shit like this. Put the money in your pocket and enjoy!

  10. It’s a crying shame to have to say this, but all trust in any arm of government was lost for me decades ago, and contempt and revulsion are all that remain.

  11. Now, I believe, that is very good advice! That way, if it does belong to someone legitimately and they come in to report it missing, it has been in safe keeping for the right person. If not, nothing has to be said. Police do not need to know a thing. End of story!!!

  12. I, personally, like to believe there are still a few good ones; I have known them. It's a shame the scummy ones make bad names for the good ones.

  13. return the money to the rightful owner, the hard work waitress…..NOW . Since when do the cops become judge and jury.

  14. DontAskDontTell says:

    A woman left $12.000 in a box and when the waitress ran to her car and said hey you forgot this the woman said you keep it.
    So why didn't she just keep it? Why did she go to the cops? Here keep it. That's that. You KEEP it!!! Now the lawyer will get the $$$

  15. sean murry says:

    Crooked cops.

  16. Get current on this! The waitress got all of the money after a short delay

  17. Bill McCroskey says:

    Ken: Thanks for the update as my blood pressure was beyond 'stroke danger.' That said, it should never had come to this, I want the cops to take their drug sniffing dogs to ANY bank (especially 'the too big to fail' ones) and sniff then confiscate anyy of their (well …..really the taxpayers) money that fido hits on. Want to see the Feds and the 'locals' have a shootout? This scenario would cause it.

  18. EyesWideOpen says:

    This is another reason for the good citizens of the USA to arm themselves – against the unavoidable showdown that will soon happen in this country, that will be against the Nazi Gustapo who wear Police Badges. It will be self-defense on the part of the citizens, but the SS and Gustapo must be stopped!

  19. no donuts fer dem pigs!

  20. Lonetrader says:

    That is not true John. Police depts. in California make great wages. California Highway Patrol starts at over 75,000 a year. LAPD< LA County Sheriff are all over 50,000 starting salary. I know several LAPD motor cops that make over 200,000 a year with their overtime. They all spend it before they earn it, are up to their eyeballs in debt. Just like their employers. The seizure laws are one of the worst things that that has happened to our rights. Even if you are stopped and have broken a law, they still should not seize your vehicle or property. What happened to innocent till proven guilty.

  21. Ronald R. Johnson says:

    How do do tell if a cop is Crooked? Think about it for a second,it's not hard to do! If it wears a badge and has a Real Police I D Card they are crooked!!!!!!!!

  22. Unless there is some proof that proves beyond a shadow of any doubt they should return the money , ALL the money . there is no reason not to other than someone within the department figured they could make a fast $11,000 . If it isnt returned in full , the waitress should indeed sue for the tip money and whatever is determined by the courts as damages plus the cost of her attorney and cost for court .

    That our trusted public servants would attempt this is a gross breach of public trust

  23. There you go! Bring in the CROOKED Union that’ll take care of the money and she will probably end up paying out of her pocket too. I’ve been saying cops are nothing but LIAR”S and THEIVES ever since I could reason right from wrong. Yet everybody else thinks just because they become police officers all of a sudden they’re Hero’s. They are nothing more than SCUM on the bottom of your feet

  24. I guess you did not agree with my point of view Gary; you reviewed my comment and decided you did not like what you read so you just did not post it! How is this site different from the liberal media?? Maybe that's why you only have 23 comments. Well, let's see if you like this? I am UNSUBSCRIBING from your website !!

  25. Diggery Do says:

    Why in the Hell did she call the cops anyway…that was stupid.

  26. Don't forget that most get to retire at age 55 with a full paycheck till the day they die. That's why most police departments are going bankrupt! If not already bankrupt. I have respect for the idea of being a cop, I just don't have respect for the scum that is doing the job. Rights?? Are you kidding? You have NO rights in this country anymore unless your in congress or your one of the theifing cops! NOW its Your Guilty till you can prove your innocent! Don't think for one minute that any lawyer is on your side! Their in it with the cops and the judges are just as crooked!

  27. I don't understand how these asset forfeiture laws ever passed constitutional muster. Think about it: the cops take your stuff and then it is up to you to prove you had it legally. In other words, you're presumed guilty and you must prove your innocence.Which is backwards from the way our entire legal system is supposed to work.

  28. There was another outrageous case a few months ago: a 12 year old girl in Dallas found $2,000 in an envelope outside of a bank. She went into the bank to see if anyone had made a cash withdrawal of that amount, and was told nobody had. So she turned the money in to the police, and they just kept it. Some public official said later that the money went into the city general fund, and that was that.

  29. Under Obummer's economic plan this is called re-distrubution of wealth. It was given to a waitress at a diner as a tip, confiscated by the police as drug money, to now be used at the local donut shop. Created 10 jobs too!

  30. I have always thought that if I found a stash of money, regardless of how much, I would not turn it in to the police or any authorities. Reason? For all the above that this poor waitress went through. What do the police use it for? Good question that remains unanswered.

  31. Maybe the cops are planning on going into politics after they retire and were just getting in some practice?

  32. NoMoreMarxistsInDC says:

    Just another reason why cops are NOT constitutional, and why we don't need police. GOOGLE the article by law professor Roger Roots: "Are Cops Constitutional?" That will explain all about why we don't need cops.

    This is just a further example of why Americans must re-new their efforts to compel/mandate states and local governments uphold and support the US Constitution, specifically the people's 2nd Amendment Rights to keep and bear arms for self-defense against criminals and government (interchangeable terms). We don't need police. They only show up, on average, 12 minutes after a crime has been committed.

  33. Old news. She got a lawyer and the cops did give all the money back.

  34. Better than 90% of the paper money in the US has drug odor that a drug dog can detect, plus is chemically testable so legally all your cash could be confiscated. Check it out, looks like we are all guilty.

  35. Obviously Bill got the same information you did Ken, But I haven't. When you have more current information please leave a link with your statement for the rest of us to read up on.

  36. jimpeel7734 says:

    Studies have shown that 92% of all currency in circulation is tainted with drugs. The money that is tainted directly by the drug dealers/users goes to the banks where it contaminates the counting machines. All other bills going through the machines becomes tainted as well. Police drug sniffing dogs can pick up this residue and they will "hit" on it. An interesting in-court experiment would be to let a police drug sniffing dog sniff the money in the prosecutor's pocket.

  37. Has anyone checked money straight out of A Bank? I'll bet it smells of drugs,too. Does that mean they are illegal,too?

  38. It doesn't take long for the general public to catch on; and STOP COOPERATING with law enforcement! When our selected/elected/appointed TRUSTED LEADERS are no longer trustworthy, then chaos and civil disorder and breakdown ensues.
    When lawlessness becomes rampant, and it sure does look like it is these days, look to your politicians and law enforcement to point fingers away from themselves!!
    If you can't be an example, you will become one!!

  39. No doubt the police are more than willing to help spend this dirty money for her.

  40. I wish she were described appearance wise I am betting she is a dingy blond! Any one with more than a day of life experience knows that cops are bullies from life. They were not the sharpest knives inthe drawer in chool and they had the desire to boss others around! They are individually bascially bullies given the opportunity to live out their cake and donut eating desires while getting them free with the coffee. They flash around the badge and talk down to citizens as if all were criminals! Ever had a ticket given for running a red light! I for one do not intentionally break laws but everyone once in a while makes mistakes! But to hear a Cop lecture you would immediately perceive that they are perfect in every way! Well worked around some of them , have some of them related and believe me my experience is that 90 to 95% are crooked as and venomous as a rattlesnake! COPS SUCK !

  41. That is exactly what cops endup doing is turning honest people such as this young inexperienced waitress into dishonest people! She could have and probably would ahve determined from the customer what was up with the money! Could be some old persons life savings! Could be drug money but doubtful? But it is for sure it is not safe with the cops in charge!

  42. Mike Knight says:

    The moron deserved to lose the money. These fools need to stop trusting the government, and running to them for every little thing. Be an adult, and stop thinking the government is your Father figure. A normal person is left $12,000 they keep it, and keep their mouth shut.

  43. Let me set you straight in areas of Salary they make considerably more than a well educated (masters degreed) school teacher! While they piss away large amounst of Gasoline drivig around not necessarily doing their job but doing personal errands on taxpayers funds! They have too many opportunities to wander or stray without being called on the carpet or even being caught! Worked around FBI,City Cops,and family members as cops. You would not believe the crookedness of the majority of them! There salaries run well above taht of educated persons in the technical fields! It took years for me to make near what cops have been making for years. They have recieved raises when private industries did not! The average Street cop makes a very livable wage as opposed to other non-union workers! The days of the underpaid Cops have long since passed away! Why do you think they work through the retirement time and then go into another law enforcement format job! They get good retirement on top of the good pay! Cops are generally not that exposed to all the violence that you hear also, most of them are johonny come lately backups with little to no exposure!

  44. I hear that and agree with you Brady me bucko. When you live longer than a decade you learn what is and what is not! Who is and Who is not! And at the the moment the Nots Have it!

  45. 5% or less are as you say good! See if you have witnessed this in your lifetime. The good seldom brings up evil or bad, however evil nearly always brings down the good! If you haven't experienced or seen this yet live a little longer and keep your eyes and ears open! You will see in time! But you are correct about the Scummy ones so therefore you are observing you just haven't gotten the count down just yet!

  46. Since they put on the badge the bullies are in action and they will let you know it! Represent the wrong side every time and punish the right side for what they know is wrong! Make them pay their way out of trouble so says the bully Cops! For example: NYPD cops that arrested and took the Gun from the Tennessee lady that was honest and tried to be truthful and aboveboard! You NYC yankee bastards are quite welcome in Tennessee y'all just drive on through we are waiting with welcoming arms open and delighted to see you cross the State line! Forget Hell, not happening!!!!!!!

  47. Can You Read? Just askin for this article does not tell such a tall tale as you have imagined and written! Your drugs have kicked in sober up then reread the article! you are out of it! Is your name charles moore from florida!

  48. Where did you get this!?

  49. NOW NOW it is almost but not quite taht bad but it is coming son to a neighborhood near all of us for they are all buying into the homeland gangbanger club with spying and espionage on private legal citizens just to be what they are as you say crooked!

  50. cool! What State did this occur in or do you know?

  51. They make Peanut Salaries, are you NUTS ???? On Average they make very good salaries, approximately around 40 – 50 K a Year….. This is NOT NO Peanut Salarie…… You had better do your Homework when speaking about this…..

  52. The fact that she got the money back is not the big story, if that is in fact true. The story is how the police will steal your money from you if you let them know you have it.

  53. I have seen many reports that almost every piece of paper money has trace amounts of cocaine on it. If that is the case, can they just walk up to anyone and take their money?

    I believe in the finders keepers rule. If I find money and know it belongs to someone else, then I would do the right thing person to person. When you get the Government involved, they get their cut and then no one gets much if anything, except the cops.

    I wish a lawyer would take this on for free.

  54. just sayin' says:

    Every once in a while police PROVE they cannot be trusted and we lose faith in our public servants. Their behavior has now caused a national awareness that will prevent honest people from turning money in to potentially dishonest police departments. And we wonder why we can't et our kids to behave when those who are supposed to set the example are screwed up!

  55. jim28threg. says:

    Typical piece of sh7t cops. This is what makes some people wait behind a tree after a false cal from a pay phone.
    I've heard pay back is a B. Not that I would stoop to this — almost all the police I now know are decent but that sure as H isn't counting those back in ILL. that I went to school with their turn is coming. SEE ya boys.

  56. Good

  57. Bob da Grouch says:

    Having been a cop, I can attest to all of you, the fault does not lay with the uniforms on the street. The problem lays with the police administrators and the politicians who appoint them. A police department is only as good as the people who run it.

  58. It is more than disgusting when persons hired into power positions that they abuse the very citizens that put them there. It doesn't matter if the individual is a law enforcement person, congressman, or President—the abuse of power is corruption and it is destructive, a situation that we are witnessing on a daily basis here in the USA. The officers who decided to keep the money have committed fraud at best or theft by conversion at the very least., both of which are felony offenses. One poster stated the waitress got her money back—that's good to hear, but it does not resolve the issue that these officers broke the law and obviously got away with it. Had an ordinary citizen committed the same act, they would be in jail right now.

  59. SumerianMan says:

    Again the questions arise, how do you tell the difference between cops and robbers?, you can't. Who can you trust?, No one, This is what you get when in most cities and towns the only requirements to be a so-called law enforcement officer is a GED education or a relative on the board.

  60. Joe Schmoe says:

    What's the big whoop over this? It happens all the time in the place where the United States is heading. I'm talking about the Third World. Now your average Third World cop is a little more reasonable than his steroid-crazed, militarized American cop, I'll grant you. They usually just want a little "bite", not to just chew you up and spit you out like these cops.

  61. ken dixon says:

    the waitress should have her head examined for calling the fuzz to start with, there were some dumb highway workers here in indiana who found a truck tire full of money and they told the boss, yup you guessed it they got a couple hundred the cops got the rest well no way in hell would i tell anyone do not be stupid people what the hell you thinking !!! KEEP THE DAMN MONEY also keep your trap shut about finding it WAKE UP AMERICA

  62. Joe Schmoe says:

    How much did the lawyer charge? Old joke – one lawyer in a town will go broke. Two can make a very good living.
    New joke – one lawyer in a town will go broke. A lawyer who pals around with the local cops can make a very good living.

  63. It isn't just police that are corrupt when it comes to money, it is society as a whole. The want of money truly is the root of all evil.

  64. If cops had any shame, they’d be doing something else. You can forget that and I’m wondering why you even wrote it. My first thought was the same as dalek’s but finding a lawyer to do anything for free is about as rare as a cop with morals.

  65. The cops (detective) did this to my nephew. They confiscated an air compressor that he bought because the owner said he didn’t pay for it. He actually had paid for it and showed the detective proof, but the detective told him he couldn’t have it back. This detective was a complete incompetent jerk and was this way to everyone, even his own daughter. Consequently, my nephew will never trust another cop and nor will I.

  66. Louis XIV says:

    I saw that one. He is right. The initial statement should be enough. I heard a criminal lawyer (THERE'S an accurate job description!) say that 90% of prople convict themselves. EX: Casey Anthony. They had no "smoking gun" and couldn't get her to tell on herself.

    As far as the money, I would never voluntarily interact with a cop, let alone where cash is involved. The "reward" was just throwing her a bone hoping she would go away. Surprised they didn't threaten her with arrest, claiming she was "involved" in the "suspected" illegal activity.

    Just ask yourself: Why does the police evidence room resemble a bank vault? When a cop changes into his uniform to start his shift, why does he lock his locker?

  67. Louis XIV says:

    95% of cops give the rest a bad name.

  68. Old Salt says:

    The 'cops' are always the first to lament about the "us against them" attitude between the police and the citizens, well,……it's behavior like this that causes it. There's always been a few rotten apples in every police force, but when the department at the top pulls crap like this, it makes you not want to cooperate at all.

  69. Bob Marshall says:

    Maybe one day people are going to wake up and realize we live in both a police and welfare state.

  70. Bye bye