Man arrested over $1M suitcase left in Aussie cafe

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Associated Press

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 23 at 2:06 AM

SYDNEY (AP) — Police in Sydney may be close to unraveling the mystery of a man who left a lot of dough at an upscale pizzeria and cafe — nearly 1 million Australian dollars ($1 million).

Police say a man wearing shorts and a tank top left a suitcase at Cafe Marco on Tuesday morning. Staff at first thought it might contain a bomb but it turned out to be stuffed with 50-dollar notes.

Officers arrested a man in connection with the incident Tuesday afternoon, said Senior Constable Chris Nash, a A New South Wales police spokesman. Nash said the man then suffered an unknown medical problem and was taken to a local hospital where he remained under police guard Wednesday.

Nash said detectives probably will have to wait until the man recovers before asking him more questions about the cash. Police wouldn't say whether they think the arrested man is the one who left the case in the cafe.

A worker at the cafe said Wednesday that the man who left the case was "a bit nervous. He was really nervous."

"It's crazy, it's scary. Now we can laugh about it, but yesterday I was scared. I called the police," she said. She ended a telephone call to serve a customer before a reporter could ask her name, and a subsequent phone message left at the cafe was not immediately returned.

Nash said that if the money legitimately belongs to the man it would be returned to him. If the cash is proceeds from a crime it will likely be forfeited to the government. If the owner of the cash is not found, whoever discovered it could make a claim on it after three months.

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