Op shop shock as cash stash found

Stunned staff at a suburban Vinnies outlet in Melbourne have found a large stash of cash in a pile of donated clothing.

The Herald-Sun reports that volunteers at the store in Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, found the money last Wednesday morning while sorting through bins of donated clothes.

Leading Sen-Constable Chris Jones of Malvern police said it was likely the money was unwittingly handed in with clothes from a deceased estate, or could even be an anonymous donation to the charity.

"Around here there are a lot of elderly people who get put in hospices and homes, and relatives go through their clothing that they no longer need," he said.

"Elderly people, as we know, tend to keep money stashed under their beds. They don't trust banks."

But there could be another, more juicy explanation. "Husband and wife getting divorced. Husband being a bit awful. He finds cash she has among her clothes. Donated. You never know," Sen-Constable Jones joked.

Neither police nor the charity would reveal the amount of money, but said it was substantial. If the owner is not found in three months, the money will go to St Vinnies.

Shop manager Eileen Matthews was delighted the money could go back into the charity's coffers.

"I hope the person who owns it and needs it can have it back, but they've got to prove it first," she said.

Though the money was found on Wednesday, Ms Matthews said she had no idea when the clothing was left at the store.

But it was certainly not the most unusual find among the charity's donated goods.

"The last strange one was a box of flares, which we got rid of very quickly before someone let them off," Ms Matthews said.

Op shop shock as cash stash found (Herald-Sun 3/2/06)

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Vinnies Victoria

6 Feb 2006