A long time ago, I was at an ATM, in line, two days before Christmas. We were in the skyway levels in Minneapolis, a busy retail area. A woman ahead of me got $200 cash, grabbed her receipt and ran off - leaving the $$$ in the tray.
I picked it up, looked at the next guy and lady in line and said "now what?" The woman whose money it was had rushed off so quickly, none of us could see where she went. We all looked at each other, and I decided to go into the bank branch which was right there.
Talking to customer service, and explaining, I suggested that they pull the security tapes on the ATM or check the account activity for the three minute window in question, to find the owner of the cash. The bank, instead, said they would take the money and hold it for the woman. I asked what they would do if she did not return for it. After a little hemming and hawing, they admitted that the bank would keep it.
The bank would keep it. The bank, for which I worked, would keep the money that could easily be tracked to the person who lost it.
I gave them my contact information (including my business card that clearly ID-ed me as a bank employee), and said that if the woman returned, I would give her the cash myself. I put my cell phone number on the back of my card as well.
When I walked out, the second person who was in line asked me what happened, and I told her. She was just as horrified as I was. She had a notepad and we decided to post a note by the ATM "To the lady who left her money behind at 4:14 pm on XX date, please contact the bank branch for information on the cash."
The person never called me. I gave the money to a women's shelter that was just being constructed in Minneapolis. And I took a bit of heat from the bank branch manager about it as well.
I don't work at that bank any more. Have not for many a year. That made me feel ill, and I know it really must have hurt the holiday of the woman who left the money behind.
It's been a long time since I remembered that situation. That bank is still around.