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FBI, CHP search for motorists who grabbed cash on I-5

CARLSBAD — Authorities are expected to have more information today about the search for those who helped themselves to cash sprinkled on a Carlsbad freeway after it spilled from an armored truck Friday morning.

The FBI has joined the California Highway Patrol in the investigation of the cash grab, but neither agency had anything new to report Sunday.

A man and woman who allegedly took some of the cash were detained at the scene of the mishap, which happened at about 9:15 a.m. Friday on the northbound lanes of the freeway at Cannon Road in Carlsbad, according to the CHP.

The two unidentified people were released at the scene Friday and not charged, the CHP said.

Bags of cash fell out of the armored truck and burst open on Interstate 5 in northern San Diego County on Friday, sending currency blowing across the roadway and halting traffic in the area while authorities — and opportunistic commuters — collected the scattered money.

A witness’ cellphone video posted online by KUSI News showed people who apparently had jumped out of halted vehicles hurrying around, snatching the dumped cash off the pavement.

“This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen,” said the young woman who shot the footage. “Someone dropped money all over the freeway.”

How the sacks of currency of various denominations wound up tumbling out of a side door on the armored car was not immediately clear.

CHP officials warned those who picked up the cash were likely to be identified via the video images recorded by bystanders and could face theft charges.

“It’s better for them to do the honesty policy than to wait for us to track them down and knock on their door,” CHP Sgt. Curtis Martin said.

Anyone who pocketed some of the cash was urged to turn the money in at the CHP’s northern San Diego-area station at 435 La Tortuga Drive in Vista.