If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if an armored van spilled millions of dollars in bank notes out into a busy street, you need look no futher than Hong Kong on Wednesday for your answer—a traffic jam.
“An armored van spilled nearly US $2 million in cash onto the westbound lane of one of Hong Kong’s busiest thoroughfares on Christmas Eve, bringing traffic to a halt as people jumped out of their cars and scrambled to scoop up money,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “Now Television, a commercial broadcaster, showed video of people crouching on the road to snatch up the cash, but it was unclear whether they were helping recover the money or just helping themselves,” the New York Times reports.
The BBC estimates the value of the spilled cash could be as high as $4.5 million after several containers of cash fell out of the back of the armored vehicle carrying some $68 million. The security company responsible for the vehicles said it is investigating what appeared to be a door malfunction. Local police appealed to people to, you know, do the right thing and fork over their newfound riches.
“Police superintendent Wan Siu-hong said on Wednesday afternoon: ‘I would like to take the opportunity to appeal to every member of the public that if they picked up any money to handover to any police officer or any police station as soon as possible,” the South China Morning Post reports. “‘If he or she keeps the money for his own use, he may commit an offence of theft which is a very serious crime under ordinance,’ he said.”
Correction, Dec. 29, 2014: This post originally misstated that the BBC estimated that an armored van spilled $4.5 in cash in Hong Kong dollars. The BBC estimate was $4.5 million.