An armored truck dropped loads of cash onto a freeway in Carlsbad, California, causing a major traffic jam as motorists hopped out of their vehicles to pick up the bills. Still, authorities say drivers must return the money or face possible criminal charges.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) began getting 911 calls reporting cash dispersed throughout a section of Interstate 5 near Cannon Road shortly before 9:15 a.m. Friday.

According to the California Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, numerous people stepped out of their cars to hunt after the money. The event is being investigated by both agencies, reported NBC news.

During the incident, one of the lucky drivers on the road was Demi Bagby, a CrossFit athlete with over 2.5 million followers.

“This is the most insane thing I have ever seen. Someone dropped money all over the freeway. San Diego has shut down. Literally, it has shut down. Look at the freeway right now,” Bagby said to the camera as she panned the scene of people getting out of their cars to collect the money.

She released a video on TikTok showing vehicle occupants hastily gathering up money. Some yelled with delight as they posed with their haul in the center of the road, which was gridlocked.

The armored truck driver attempted to reclaim the cash before recognizing his efforts were hopeless and then began recording individuals who took the money. The majority of the banknotes covering the freeway were ones and twenties.

CHP officers were on the scene by 10 a.m., blocking traffic off the freeway and collecting dollars, which they placed in plastic bags. Anyone who took money from the road must return it immediately, according to law authorities. It’s unclear how much money was taken in total.

“If you found money on the freeway, it is not your money,” CHP Sergeant Martin said. “It belongs to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) and this armored truck and the bank. It needs to be returned.”

Around a dozen drivers came forward by mid-afternoon to refund the money they had collected. Those who have yet to come forward have a few more days to repay the money without penalty reported bizpac review.

“Multiple pictures and videos were posted on social media (that) captured faces and license plates at the scene of this incident. The CHP is working with the FBI to identify those who participated in the theft of money,” CHP Officer Mary Bailey said in a statement Friday night.

Bailey also stated that the CHP had issued 16 photos and video still frames of people grabbing cash from the road. Anyone involved is “encouraged to turn in the money within 48 hours in order to avoid potential criminal charges.”

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