Web Exclusive: Man finds book with thousands inside from the dump

(CNN/WHDH) - One man's hobby has paid off, literally.  While rummaging through old books and magazines, a man finds many thousands of dollars.  He's not claiming the cash just yet, but the countdown is on to find the rightful owner.

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure and if used magazines and books are your thing then one Marlboro man has plenty of treasures. He's a Brazilian immigrant, a modest handyman, who collects magazines to make art.  "And they help me with my English... I can learn more and try to learn to read," he said.

This massive collection all came from the dump.  He goes about twice a week, and just last month, he stumbled upon an old book stuffed to the brim with tens of thousands of dollars.

"When I opened like this and I saw the money, I closed the book and I run to my car."

He won't say exactly how much money it is, but it's somewhere between 20 and $30,000.

"I look if I can see a name in the book, someone put their name in the front page, you know how people write their names in the book?" he said.

But so far it's been one dead end after another.  "I was quite surprised to tell you," he said.

He doesn't want to show his face. He just wants the rightful owner to come forward.

"This book is a lot of history there," he said. "My point of view is, I want to see because if someone maybe who separated the money to buy a house, put a down payment for the house. What if that happened to me, if it was me? I'm going to go crazy, alright?"

He's decided to wait six months for the owner to come forward.  He's already received dozens of e-mails; most encourage him to keep the money.  But he wants to do the right thing.

"I can't go to sleep without thinking about that now. But if nobody claims it, I can say I did my part. Then I can go back to getting sleep every single day, no problem," he said.

In order to claim the cash, the owner has to be able to identify the book, identify the exact amount of cash, describe how the money was placed in the book and name the other two items in the book.


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