One Man's Trash is Another's Treasure

By EMILY WITHER, ABC News London

Christmas may have come early for a street cleaner from England who discovered $15,000 dollars’ worth of torn-up cash in the trash.

Graham Hill was emptying garbage cans in Lincoln, central England, when he came across bundles of cut-up 10- and 20- pound bills stashed in a plastic bag.

Hill turned the money into the police. But after a six-month investigation the money was returned to him because no one had come forward to claim it and officers could not link the bills to any criminal activity.

Hill now has quite a complicated jigsaw on his hands, but it'll be very rewarding if he can solve the puzzle. The Bank of England has said that for each bill he pieces together he'll be given a new one.

A bank representative confirmed to U.K. papers that it would accept the bills.

"Providing the bank notes meet the evidence requirements, then an application for reimbursement should be successful." Hill’s been told that each bill has to have two matching serial numbers. According to the police he'll have a tough job because no pair of serial numbers appears to have remained intact.

It still remains a mystery why the money was thrown out in the first place. Detective Constable Nick Cobb of Lincolnshire police led the investigation and he told ABC News that the case remains unsolved. "This was a very unusual case. Despite our inquiries, the circumstances of why and how the money came to be torn up and put in the bin remains a mystery."

Hill has a difficult task ahead of him. With the bills shredded into tiny scraps it looks like his Christmas bonus may be delayed. It's thought that it could take him up to three months to piece them back together, but the effort would be worth it. 

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