When Kenneth Allen picked up the paper bag sitting atop a trash can outside a Tennessee convenience store, he found two things: A bottle of cologne and nearly $13,000 in cash.
"It never crossed my mind to take it, because that's not the right thing to do," Allen told local affiliate Fox4KC about the $12,764.73 in cash.
Allen was at the Peachers Mill Road convenience store on Saturday afternoon with his wife, Kristy, when they spotted the bag. The Leaf Chronicle adds that the couple, who had stopped by to pick up a cream soda, quickly turned the money over to the Clarksville Police Department, which has since returned it to its rightful owner.
"I knew I had to return it," Allen said. "Someone might have needed that for something really important."
Surveillance video from the convenience store shows the man stopping outside the store to unwrap an ice cream sandwich before leaving the bag of money behind on top of the trash can.
The owner of the money is a 51-year-old man who reportedly left the money behind after recently being released from the hospital after experiencing an adverse reaction to prescription medication. Though the police have not released the man's name, they say he has since contacted Allen to thank him.
"When he called, I asked, 'Dude, why did you have so much money?" Allen told ABC News. "He didn't really explain that, but he did say he was very grateful to have it back, and was glad we were the ones who found it."
Allen, who recently retired from the military and plans to start teaching math at a nearby high school next fall, says he's glad things worked out the way they did.
"If anyone else had found this money, they'd have thrown one heck of a party," he said. "We were meant to find it."