retired truck driver Curtis Smith Sr. had held onto a rare $1,000 bill,
a treasured keepsake that he had carried in his pocket ever since he
acquired it through a friend 20 years ago.
is, the Jennings, MO, resident held onto it until a police officer confiscated
it during a traffic stop in Pine Lawn, MO, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
That’s when the mayor of the town, Adrian Wright, decided he “fancied” the
bill, the newspaper said, and decided to keep it.
to The Post-Dispatch, Smith was in his truck on land he owned,
sleeping off a few drinks. Police picked him up and brought him to the
city’s police station, where the mayor watched as officers counted out
the money he had on him. At that time, the mayor replaced the $1,000
bill with 10 $100 bills.
was placed in an account for confiscated drug money, despite the fact
that Smith was arrested on suspicion on drunken driving, not drug activity,
and despite the fact that county prosecutors refused to charge Smith
with selling drugs and ordered the money returned.
Smith went to the city seeking the return of his keepsake, he was instead
given a check for the amount, as well as for other cash that was found
on him. City officials told the newspaper that if he wanted the bill,
he could claim it once he reimbursed the city for the face value.
Smith told The Post-Dispatch he repeatedly asked the police, over
the phone and in person, to return the bill – to no avail.
is worth far more than its face value; experts told the newspaper it
could bring as much as $3,500 from a collector. It has been out of print