Voice 1: Police in a small town in Belgium are urging residents to hand over hundreds of thousands of euros that fell out of a speeding car after a robbery. So far, the citizens of Zedelgem have mostly ignored police pleas on radio and television. Only two people have come forward to return the notes they picked up in the street. The police have, at the moment, recovered eleven thousand euros, a small fraction of the fortune that was originally stolen.
Voice 2: It rained money early one Friday in Zedelgem’s Main Street. Passersby couldn't believe their luck. The rain had stopped, and instead of showers of water coming down from the sky, it suddenly started to rain bank notes.
Voice 1: Michael Martins, the owner of a bakery on the street where it happened, has this to say .
Michael: I could just not believe what happened. The street was really busy with people walking by. One minute they had their umbrellas up and the next they were on their hands and knees scooping up bank notes out of the road. They stuffed them into their bags and pockets and then scarpered. I have never seen people move so fast. But it was big money.
Voice 2: Not all the passersby were lucky. One man admitted that he'd tried to make off with ten thousand euros. The man picked up a handful of rolls of money and wad of loose notes, but was caught by police who had broken off their high-speed chase after the thieves who had stolen the cash in the first place.
Voice 1: The police were rushing round chasing people and grabbing back what money they could. But they weren't quick enough. People just vanished with the loot when the police cars stopped.
Voice 2: There were about forty passersby in the street at the time. A car driver driving through the area was seen to stash handfuls of notes in the boot of his car and quickly drive off. The police didn't manage to get his licence plate.
Voice 1: Half an hour earlier, thieves had stolen a safe from a house in the outskirts of the town. The alarm was raised, and the police began to chase the get away vehicle. As the cars were speeding along Zedelgem's main street, the safe fell out of the thieves' car and dropped onto the road, scattering its contents.
Voice 2: The police have warned that anyone keeping the cash could face two years in jail. But so far, the citizens of Zedelgem are sitting tight on their ill-gotten gains and ignoring official pleas for them to hand in the money to the local police station. Even promises that the money can be returned anonymously have resulted in little response.