Monday, February 12, 2001

Man who grabbed $640,000 says he wanted reward

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — The mystery man who grabbed $640,000 that fell out of an armored car and kept it for two days says he was determined to return it and get a reward.

        Instead, said Mark Morant, 38, of Cleveland, the FBI interrogated him like a suspected thief and said he didn't deserve the $75,000 reward offered in the disappearance of the money Wednesday.

        Mr. Morant, who works two jobs as a private guard, was walking the perimeter of a downtown building where he works part-time about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday when three bundles of cash fell out of an armored truck door.

        “I froze for maybe a sec ond,” said Mr. Morant, who came forward to tell his story to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and “set the record straight” about his intentions.

        “I knew it was money, but I thought it was maybe $15,000,” he said. “The first thing that went through my mind — there's got to be a reward.”

        The married father of three said he never considered keeping the cash.

        He said officials “twisted things around” when they suggested Friday the money was returned because the finder — whose name wasn't disclosed by the FBI — thought it was marked bills. Mr. Morant said he tried for two days to figure out how to return the cash and get the reward.


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