Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: A social media split on dumb bank thieves

Most of y’all have probably read about the Pennsylvania couple that spent $120,000 accidentally dropped into their checking account at BB&T.

It didn’t take Robert and Tiffany Williams long to spend most of the “found” money on a camper, a Chevy and a race car.

This reminds me of the old joke in which the lottery winner is asked by a reporter how he will spend his millions and the salty old gent responds, “loose women, plenty of good liquor, casino gambling and…well, I’ll probably just squander the rest on foolishness.”

Indeed.

Robert and Tiffany spent $100,000 in about two weeks, including $15,000 on friends who needed money because of woodwork and the things that crawl out of it.

In what sounds like some kind of Amish banking mistake considering the sophisticated computer systems we thought existed, a teller—we’ll call her Gladys because, why not?—mistakenly placed a $120,000 deposit from a local business into the Williams’ checking account.

I’m guessing she didn’t carry the 3. Anyway, poor Gladys has most likely been fired by now but will have a great story to tell once she is elected to Congress, where she can misappropriate all kinds of money, bless her heart.

I’m not here to hate on Gladys or even BB&T, a proud banking institution that, in my town, gives dog treats at the drive-up, which, since I don’t have a dog, makes me ask, “Y’all got a Kit Kat back there for the human customer?” (And, side note, what’s with this business of dogs in stores? Last week, I was trying on a dress at T.J. Maxx and had to negotiate with a customer’s obviously non-service poodle just to get out of the dressing room. If it was a real service dog, it would’ve looked up at me and said: “Yellow, with your complexion? Puleez.”)

Interestingly, the social media nation is divided on whether Tiffany and Robert did wrong. This is odd because they knew it wasn’t their $120,000 (particularly since their previous balance was $1,121.00 and, this just in, no Santa) so of course they should’ve called the bank, told them what happened and, in the process, maybe saved poor Gladys’s job.

In the old days, they would’ve gotten a toaster or set of dishes for such honesty.

When they got caught, and, yes, that’s the correct phrasing, Tiffany agreed to set up a repayment plan with BB&T, but a funny thing happened on the way to being a decent human being.

The bank hasn’t been paid back and now the couple is out on bail for three felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property.

I’m a little shocked that so many proud Americans say they should’ve been able to keep the money. Social media comments boil down to “Banks have insurance. Besides RACE CAR!”

Whether it’s a redneck couple in Pennsylvania or a billionaire who doesn’t pay his income tax, stealing is stealing. Or as true service dog Scooby Doo reminds us: Sometimes, the real monsters are humans.

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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