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2nd Cash Find Has Musical Overtones

Times Staff Writer

For the second time in four days, Los Angeles police say, a “good citizen” has found and turned in a large sum of money. Authorities are describing the latest case as “very bizarre.”

Officer Donald Matthews said that, at about 5 p.m. Saturday, a man walked into the West Valley police station carrying a trumpet and a violin in their cases, and a wallet with $1,269 in cash, which he said he found next to a trash bin near the corner of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

The finder, identified by police as David Chrisman of Los Angeles, spotted the instruments amid garbage behind a restaurant at about 3 p.m. Lying beneath the violin were a wallet and a six-inch hunting knife.

After eating in the restaurant, Chrisman, a physics student at UCLA, checked again, decided to open the cases and found the money. Chrisman said he carried the cases to a friend’s house and called police.

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“I wish it didn’t happen to me,” he said Saturday night. “I just felt weird, all this money in the case.”

Cards inside the wallet indicate the cash and instruments belong to a Seattle man about 60 years old, who police said bears the name “Sikowsky Baytoeben.”

“I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a joke,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t make up something like this.”

Matthews said the name “Baytoeben” did not appear in a computer check of recent crime victims, and police said they do not believe that foul play was involved in Saturday’s incident.

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Police will try to contact the Seattle man through his address there, Matthews said. If they are unable to contact him within 90 days, the finder normally can claim the money. Chrisman said he would do so.

In the earlier incident on Wednesday, a Van Nuys woman found a briefcase stuffed with $20,000 in the garage at her apartment complex and handed the money over to police. The owner has not been found.


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