ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CBS Local) — A teenager in New Mexico was trying to buy his grandfather some socks Sunday when he stumbled upon $135,000 laying on the ground.
José Nuñez Romaniz, 19, found the clear bag full of cash on May 3 near a Wells Fargo automated teller machine in Albuquerque. He immediately called the 1-800 number on the ATM and then the police.
“In the back of my head, I was just thinking about my parents, especially my mom,” he told CBS affiliate KRQE. “What she would do if I came home with the money and what she would do with her chancla to hit me.” he laughed.
It turns out, the Wells Fargo subcontractor whose job it is to fill the ATM left the cash there by accident.
On Thursday, Nuñez was recognized by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Mike Geier at the police academy for doing the right thing when no one was looking.
— KRQE News 13 (@krqe) May 7, 2020
Nuñez is studying criminal justice at Central New Mexico Community College and wants to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I’ve wanted to be a crime scene investigator or a detective for the police since I was a kid,” he told The New York Times. “I already had my mind set on that.”
Geier told KRQE that the teen will be invited to apply for a job as a public safety officer while he’s in school.
Nuñez was also presented with a $500 check from New Mexico electricity provider PNM, a gift card and $500 cash reward from a local restaurant, University of New Mexico Lobos football season tickets and a signed football by former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher from ESPN radio.
“I did the right thing and I know my parents are proud and my family is proud as well,” he said.