1. Headline
  1. Headline
msnbc.com
updated 8/31/2011 10:00:04 AM ET 2011-08-31T14:00:04

An Illinois man who went to pick some greens from his backyard discovered something other than vegetables on Monday: $150,000.

  1. Stories from
    1. Donnie Wahlberg Talks Boston Marathon … and Marriage!
    2. American Idol's C.J. Harris: My Son Helped Me Through the Week
    3. Rosie O'Donnell Loses Almost 50 Lbs.
    4. PHOTO: Christina Aguilera Debuts Baby Belly
    5. Let's Discuss Taylor Swift's Latest Shoe Obsession

Wayne Sabaj, a carpenter who moved in with his father because he is currently unemployed, said he found a bag full of $20 bills inside his garden, reported the Northwest Herald of McHenry County, Ill., where the Sabajs live.

"I walked in, showed my dad and said, 'Now we're in trouble,'" Sabaj told the Northwest Herald.

Sabaj, who was simply hoping to pick some fresh broccoli to have with grilled beef dinner on Monday, had no idea where the cash came from.

"It wasn't my money," he told told WGN-TV. "What am I going to do? I don't know where it came from. With my luck it came from a bank robbery, and I'd be charged with bank robbery."

Sabaj, who has no savings after spending his "last $10 on cigarettes," feared whoever left the bag of riches might come back to collect it, reported the Herald. He called the police.

McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said officers found a second bag of money in the backyard. The two bags in total added up to about $150,000.

“We are speculating that it was taken from a residential or commercial burglary,” Zinke told the Chicago Daily Herald. But there haven't been any reports of large thefts in the area, he said.

Police are checking the bags for fingerprints and investigating the serial numbers from the bills in the hopes of finding any leads, the Daily Herald reported. A search of the area around the Sabajs' home yielded no other clues.

If a legitimate owner is not identified, police will determine if Sabaj can keep the cash. Sabaj told the Northwest Herald he has contacted an attorney.

Authorities left a McHenry County sheriff's card with a phone number and instructions to "please call" in the Sabajs' garden where they had found the bags, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Zinke said it did not appear that the bags had been in the garden for an extended period of time.

Over the weekend, Sabaj's son had held a bonfire in the backyard, according to the Northwest Herald. The yard isn't fenced in, and Sabaj told the Herald that kids frequently cut through.

Sabaj said he did not know why someone would leave the bag, which was beside his homegrown peppers, in such a visible spot. Authorities do not have any suspects.

Phone calls from msnbc.com for Sabaj, 49, and his father, Mitchell, were not returned.

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

TODAY's Takeaway
  1. TODAY

    Savannah won’t ‘overshare’; rapping medic cracks up anchors

    4/17/2014 8:38:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:38:13
  1. After helpful mom accidentally steals car, rightful owner is found

    When Nekisia Davis asked her mom to move her car and her friends' cars while she went on vacation, she didn't expect that she would instead accidentally move the wrong car, prompting the rightful owner to believe her car was stolen.

    4/17/2014 9:14:16 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T21:14:16
  1. Macy's

    Swimmer Ryan Lochte dives into underwear modeling

    4/17/2014 6:29:23 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T18:29:23
  1. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Chelsea Clinton is pregnant! Former first daughter expecting first child this year

    4/17/2014 10:32:13 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T22:32:13
  1. Edgard Garrido / Reuters

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    4/17/2014 8:24:21 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:24:21
  1. Have you tried an elimination diet? Weigh in on the food fad

    Could eliminating certain foods from your diet prevent allergies, fatigue, or headaches? Some people think so.

    4/17/2014 8:30:46 PM +00:00 2014-04-17T20:30:46