© Keri Wiginton, TribuneBob Adams stands outside the Chase Bank at 2641 Kirchoff Rd in Rolling Meadows on Thursday, June 9, 2011 where he found a bag of money this week containing more than $17,000 in cash.
Robert Adams at first thought someone was playing a trick when he saw the plastic bag filled with money lying next to a news box in a suburban strip mall.

Adams told WGN-AM's Greg Jarrett this morning that the bag sitting outside the Chase Bank branch in Rolling Meadow where he was headed late Monday afternoon to get some cash to buy a lunchtime burrito was filled with lots of bills--a little more than $17,000, as police later determined.

At the ATM, "I glanced down and I saw a clear plastic bag, with what looked like money in it, but I thought, you know, maybe someone's horsing around and put napkins in it or something or other," Adams said. "So I picked it up, but it was money."

The bag contained an ATM-style Chase receipt, so Adams brought it into the bank branch at 2641 Kirschoff Road, thinking an employee had dropped it.

"My thought was - it's from that Chase ATM," said Adams, 54.

He said he never thought of keeping the money for himself.

"I was just interested to know whose money it was, and how it got there," Adams said. "I've found small amounts of money before, but I was just thinking, 'This is not right.'"

But Chase employees at first didn't know that it wasn't theirs, and Adams, who had stopped at the bank on his way home to Arlington Heights from his job as a stationary engineer at a Northwest Side hospital, called Rolling Meadows police about 6:15 p.m. Monday, police said.

They were able to figure out that the money was supposed to go to an ATM in Midlothian, and had been in the care of a Loomis Armored US Inc., guard, who apparently misplaced it, said Rolling Meadows Police Sgt. Mark Hogan.

At the time police were contacted, the crew of the Loomis truck apparently were "out looking for where it was," Hogan said.

"They were pleased to get a call, and someone from Loomis came and picked it up," Hogan said.

Someone from the Chase branch called Adams the next day to tell him to whom the money belonged. But as of this morning, Adams still hadn't gotten a call from Loomis, which has its U.S. headquarters in Texas, he said. But Rolling Meadows officials were praising his honesty.

Hogan couldn't remember anyone finding anything approaching the amount of money Adams found.

"He did the right thing, and he has a clear conscience," Hogan said. "That's refreshing."