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article imageUnemployed Illinois man finds $150,000 in his garden

By Kim I. Hartman     Sep 2, 2011 in Lifestyle
An unemployed carpenter in Illinois made a surprising discovery when he went to his vegetable garden to pick broccoli for dinner and instead found a duffel bag stuffed full of money that totaled over $150,000.
Wayne Sabaj, 49, of Johnsburg, said when he saw the bag he thought it was litter. He picked it up and took it to his picnic table and opened the duffel bag to look inside.
That's when he got the surprise of his life, the bag was full of $20 dollar bills.
He took the bag inside to show his father and said "Now we're in trouble." That's when the two men decided to turn in their find to the police department, Sabaj told WGN.
But first, Sabaj said, "I went and made a drink to calm down. I haven't worked in two years. Yeah, I was like, I could really use this money, but with my luck, it would be bank robbery and I'd get caught and they would say I'd robbed a bank," he told WLS-TV7.
The two men counted the money and decided to call the local police. When the McHenry Sheriff's Department arrived they found a second bag in the garden near where the first bag was found. Both bags were stuffed with $20 bills that had been wrapped and banded.
Sabaj told the Northwest Herald that he had momentarily considered keeping the money but was afraid whoever had left it there might be coming back to retrieve it.
"I had just spent my last $10 on cigarettes yesterday, but I turned in $150,000," Sabaj said. "Somebody is going to come back when you leave that much money in your back yard. So I didn't want nothing to do with it," said Sabaj.
"We decided we'd be better off to turn it in," said Wayne's father, Mitchell Sabaj. When asked if he had any regrets, the elder Sabaj told ABC7, "Nah. Not me. But he might have. I'm an old man ready to kick the bucket."
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said, "He did the right thing, I would commend him for that."
The Sheriff's deputies said they have no suspects at this time and are processing the bag for fingerprints and looking for more evidence to help them determine who the owner of the mysterious cash-filled bag is. They said it may be from a crime that has yet to be reported.
The deputies left a business card in place of the bags with a note to "Please Call."
Police said if the bags are not claimed they will look into what can be done to assist Sabaj in determining if he will be able to keep the cash
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