A Texas professor discovered a pillowcase filled with treasure while out for a run on March 31.
Mathematics professor Matt Lewis said he was running along a highway near League City, Texas, when he found a few $100 bills, Tiffany & Co. jewelry, and family heirlooms inside the unusual hiding place, KHOU reports.
“You know, I saw that and right away, it’s a gold watch!” explained a surprised Lewis to KHOU. “So I picked it up and just a little bit ahead I saw a $20 bill on the side of the road. So I thought, wow! You know, a gold watch and a $20 bill,” remarked the professor on his find.
But that wasn’t all. Only a couple of feet away, Lewis found more valuables lying around a pillowcase near the pavement.
“Littered boxes. Littered jewelry boxes. It’s almost like you’d taken a rack from a jewelry store or something and just dumped it onto the side of the road,” he said. “Once I saw the bag, I guess it just kind of clicked what I was looking at."
He wasn’t the only one surprised by the discovery. Lewis said the dispatcher who picked up the phone after he called the police was confused as well.
“I said, 'I’m looking at a bag of cash and jewels lying on the side of the road.' There was kind of a long pause and she was like, 'cash and jewels?' I said, 'yeah it’s like in a cartoon. There’s a bag of cash and jewels.' And she was like, 'what’s your address sir?'” he recalled.
Upon examining the treasure trove, authorities discovered a driver’s license belonging to a local resident. Officials called the person and returned the items.
Police are now calling the find stolen goods from a burglary -- one that the owner wasn’t even aware had occurred until police called her.
The news alarmed neighbors.
“We’re all going to be hyper-sensitive right now,” said local resident Bob Stevenson.
While the loot's origins upset many, some found it heartening that Lewis turned it in and the story ended well for the owner.
“Good for this man turning it in,” wrote Facebook user Paul Everett Griffin on WMAZ’s Facebook post about the incident.
“I'm glad to know there's at least one good person in the world,” he added.