Bundles of £2,000 cash in street 'left by Good Samaritans'

13 January 2020, 12:56

The piles of notes were left for people to find
The piles of notes were left for people to find. Picture: PA/Durham Police
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Bundles of cash found on the streets of a former pit village were left by two Good Samaritans, police have said.

Detectives from Durham Police said the money was left by the pair after they had recieved "unexpected windfalls" and wanted to give something back to the village.

The curious case ran between 2014 to November 2019, when 13 separate packages of £20 notes were discovered left on the streets of Blackhall Colliery in County Durham.

In all 13 cases the bundles of notes, which added up to £2,000 each, were handed over to the police.

The mystery parcels led officers to interview local people and speak to organisations including banks and the Post Office, and even carry out tests for fingerprints.

But on Monday, Durham Police said that they had got to the bottom of the £26,000 enigma

The force said that the people had often waited to make sure the cash had been picked up after dropping it off, but have never sought any thanks for their donations.

One of the Good Samaritans - who both wish to remain anonymous - said she felt an "emotional connection" to the former pit village after being helped by a resident and wanted to "repay the kindness she received".

Detective Constable John Forster said: "I'm really pleased we have an answer to this mystery and am glad we can now definitively rule out the money being linked to any crime or a vulnerable person.

"I would like to thank the Good Samaritans for getting in touch and also to the honest residents of Blackhall who have continued to hand the money in.

"We would encourage anyone who may find another bundle to continue to hand it in. All the previous bundles have been returned to the finder."

Mr Forster had previously speculated that the person behind the donations "could be a lottery winner who has decided to pay something back to their local community".

In November, Gaynor Crute, chairwoman of Monk Hesleden Parish Council, which covers Blackhall Colliery, told reporters that she took pride in the fact that 13 times people had handed the cash over to police.

She said: "There's so much negativity and bad press, so when you have something like this it is obviously heartwarming to know the people you live with, your neighbours, have so much honesty and integrity."

The cash has now been handed back to the people who found it.