Waitress Gets to Keep $12,000 Tip Seized by Police

Police will return the cash to the mother of five after seizing it on suspicion of a drug connection.

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Last November, Minnesota waitress Stacy Knutson received what was quite possibly the world’s most generous tip. So generous that after the customer refused to take it back, Knutson turned the $12,000 in to police.

Initially, authorities told Knutson, a server at Fryn’ Pan Restaurant in Moorhead, Minn., and a mother of five, that she could keep the cash if no one claimed it within 60 days, Reuters reports. When those two months were up, officials then told her she wouldn’t be getting the money at all, as it allegedly smelled of marijuana and had been seized under state law. As a reward for turning the cash in, police offered her $1,000. Knutson refused and promptly filed suit.

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As it turns out, the police changed their minds, and the $12,000 is being returned to Knutson, according to her attorney, Craig Richie. He told Reuters that several members of the community knew Knutson and her husband were facing considerable financial woes, and he believes the money was intended as a gift to her family. Assistant Clay County Attorney Michelle Lawson said the money couldn’t be tied to a criminal investigation, and Knutson will soon receive a check.

“We argued that most money that you carry in your pocket has drug residue on it,” Richie told CBS. “She could’ve kept the money and nobody would’ve known. But she said, ‘No, I’m going to do the right thing.’ So she called police and now integrity has now prevailed.”

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