TAMPA (FOX 13) - What would you do if you found a big wad of cash? That's the challenge a waitress at Tampa’s Datz restaurant on South MacDill Avenue faced when a customer left behind a large sum of money.
But for this server, Morgan Burgess, the choice was simple: She handed it over to her manager and now the restaurant is trying to find its rightful owner. So far, no one has come forward.
They were sure someone would retrace their steps and come back for the cash, but getting it back to its rightful owner is proving to be a lot harder than the folks at Datz expected.
It was during a busy breakfast rush on a typical morning. Servers like Burgess see dozens of customers come and go each hour, but there's one couple she hasn't forgotten.
“They were really sweet. They were probably in their 50s, I would say. They said they'd only been here one or two times before," Burgess recalled of the people who left the money on their table.
After paying their tab, they told Burgess they'd be back again and would ask for her, leading her to believe the couple was local.
As she cleaned off their table she spotted an old, white envelope, folded up like it was junk, but when she peeked inside, it was more like a jackpot.
“That's a lot of money!” she remembers thinking.
Among the cash were multiple crisp hundred dollar bills. She thought at first it was a very generous tip.
“They did pay with cash in the book, so I knew that that was for me, and this was not. That was a mistake,” Burgess said.
Of course, she could have pocketed the money and been rolling in the dough but Burgess says she didn't consider that option, even for a second. She turned the money over to her manager for safe keeping, expecting to hear from the couple again soon.
“I'm thinking, ‘Surely they will call. Surely they'll call in the next couple of days, if not today.’ And they just, we haven't heard from them!” she said.
Nearly a month has gone by and no one has come in to claim the envelope.
The restaurant is hoping by putting the word out, it will refresh the memory of the husband who may have forgotten even taking the envelope out of his pocket at the table.
Burgess says she hopes if she ever makes the same mistake she'd get the same courtesy.
“I think everybody feels like they would want their money if they left that much money somewhere,” she said.
There was no useful camera footage that got a good look at the couple's faces. To keep away the scammers, the restaurant says whoever claims the money will have to prove it's theirs by knowing the exact amount that was in the envelope and exactly where they were sitting the day they lost it.