Clovis News

Clovis trash driver spots hundreds in lost cash

Jason Schneider is always keeping his eyes peeled for trash, but Friday morning the trash turned out to be cash.

Schneider was driving his Clovis city trash route on the south side of the city when he saw paper flying in a driveway where he had just made a pickup.

He stopped his truck, walked to the driveway and saw what he first thought was play money blowing in the breeze -- but quickly realized it was real currency.

Before picking it up, Schneider said, he called his boss to let him know what he had found "in case someone saw me picking it up and thought I was stealing it."

He retrieved $20 bills -- 13 of them -- and a $1 bill.

His supervisor, Steve Chaidez, was at the home within a few minutes and solid waste manager Eric Zetz arrived later.

After Schneider left to continue his route, Chaidez and Zetz knocked at the home where the money was found but were vague about Schneider's discovery, Chaidez said.

"We asked if they lost something of value or misplaced anything," he said.

A man inside initially didn't know what they were talking about, but then his daughter and her husband came to the door and said they had been looking for money she had lost.

Anna Benavente told the city workers she had cashed a $300 paycheck -- receiving $20s -- and had spent some of it on her way home Thursday night.

Her husband said they had been looking all over the house, Chaidez said.

When they handed over the money, the look on Benavente's face "said it all," he said. "It's not a rich neighborhood, so you know somebody is hurting who lost it."

Luke Serpa, the assistant public utilities director, said Schneider's fellow drivers joked with him about giving back the money.

But "I can't see any of them doing anything different," Serpa said.

Said Schneider: "When Steve did say how appreciative they were, it definitely felt good."