'This is literally insane': Armored truck scatters cash on California freeway

Drivers shut down the freeway as people scooped up fistfuls of cash. At least two people were arrested.


A wild scene unfolded Friday morning in Southern California after two bags of money fell out of an armored truck, leading drivers to shut down the freeway as people scooped up fistfuls of cash, the California Highway Patrol said. At least two people were arrested.

Sgt. Curtis Martin with CHP’s Oceanside division told sister station KCRA that about 9:14 a.m. the truck had one of its doors pop open as it was going up northbound I-5 in Carlsbad.


A few bags filled with different denominations of cash — at least $1 and $20 bills — fell out of the car and the wind blew it on both sides of the interstate.

"So basically money all over the freeways," Martin said.

Video shared on Instagram showed what happened next: several cars parked in the middle of the roadway as people walked around and reveled in the scene.

"This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen," Instagram user @DemiBagby said on one of the videos. "Someone dropped money all over the freeway. San Diego has shut down. This is literally insane."

Martin said that the driver of the armored car was able to pick up one of the bags and then started filming others taking the money.

Between that video and others on social media, authorities "have a lot of evidence" as they try to recover lost money. The CHP is now doing a joint investigation with the FBI, he said.

The two people who were arrested had stopped in the lane and lost their keys, Martin said. NBC San Diego reported that they are accused of having taken some of the cash.

Martin said he did not have an estimate of how much money fell on the freeway and how much was taken.

"It’s quite a bit," he said. "It’s going to take a while to determine the loss."

But he urged people to return the money at the CHP’s office in Vista.

"We’re not the ones who determine what the consequences are but we can always say that honesty is the best policy," he said. "It will be better than if we have to knock on the door."