Boy finds cash, turns it in

He'll get $300 back if no one claims it in 6 months

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By BOB UPHUES

Did you lose $300? The Riverside police are looking for the owner of the cash, which was found by an 8-year-old boy on his way to school on April 3.

Charles Vacek, a student at Ames School in Riverside, was walking in the vicinity of Selborne and Southcote roads when he came across the cash, which was in an envelope lying on the parkway.

"I was kind of late for school, so I was running," said Charles. "I turned the corner and I saw it in front of me. It was all together under some mud. When I saw it, I was surprised and wondered whose money it might have been."

Charles put the money in his backpack and went to school, where he told some friends about his find. Later the story made its way to his teacher, who asked if it was true.

"I said yes, and then she told the principal," said Charles, who at the time wasn't quite sure if he was in trouble or not.

The school's principal, Colleen Lieggi, contacted Charles' mom, Marta Vacek.

"I thought Charles was in some kind of trouble because he was serious on the phone," said Marta, who has no doubt that her son would have reported his find.

"I don't think he would have tried to hide it or have it for himself," said Marta. "It's not something you experience every day."

Charles and Marta turned in the cash to police that afternoon.

"It was exciting to meet the police," said Charles, whose good deed made it onto TV news and into one of the Chicago daily papers.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said his department will attempt to find out who lost the cash. If no one comes forward within six months, Weitzel has the option of donating the money or giving it back to the person who found it.

Weitzel said while that's the department's written policy, he's already told Charles and his mom that he would give the money back to Charles if no one claims it.

"Charles did the right thing by reporting his find and turning it into the police department. It demonstrates his integrity and we were impressed by his actions," said Weitzel.

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