Close call for Prairie Village man who left money envelope on car roof

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- A woman from Overland Park is being called a hero due to her display of Christmas honesty. She's credited with recovering an envelope filled with cash after a Prairie Village man accidentally lost it.

Any way you add it up, $1,590 is a lot of money. That's the sum of cash Paul Reikhof lost after he placed an envelope filled with 100 and 50 dollar bills on the roof of his car and drove away.

He feared it was gone for good -- until a hero came to his rescue.

“I was getting into the car, and I said, ‘Julie, what did you do with the envelope?’” Reikhof recalled.

The seventy-four-year-old man said that envelope contained money that he and his son Tom had just acquired after selling a car for a relative. Reikhof said he was planning to take the money to a nearby bank where he'd deposit it, and write that relative a personal check after they returned from an evening at the movies.

“In a senior moment or whatever, I laid the envelope of cash on top of the car, to come back in and get something, and went back out forgetting that it was there, and we took off for the movie theatre,” he said.

And the money blew off as the Riekhofs drove down Somerset Drive. Paul said his wife Julie was certain as to what had happened to the missing money.

“She kept telling me, ‘I'll bet you put it on top of the car. I gave it to you. I'll bet you put it on top of the car,’ I should have believed her,” he said.

Reikhof called the Prairie Village Police Department, and before long, so did Overland Park resident Holli Williams.

“We had given up. We thought the money's gone,” he said.

Williams noticed that Reikhof had written his name and address on the envelope. The two met up Wednesday morning -- where he got his money back, and praised Williams for her honesty.

“I was greatly relieved. Oh my gosh. What a miracle of Christmas that someone would first of all, stop on a busy street,” he said. “I learned two things here. First, never put anything on top of the car that you don't want to lose. Number two, always believe your wife. They're usually right.

Reikhof and his wife celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Williams told the Kansas City Star she wanted to return the cash to Reikhof for fear of ruining someone’s Christmas if she didn't.