By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Forty-eight hour deadline. Police say drivers who thought they hit the jackpot in the Harbor Tunnel Wednesday night have just days to turn themselves in, or face charges. An armored truck accidentally sent cash flying all over the tunnel.

Rick Ritter has the new warning from MDTA.

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It’s pretty simple–police say if you picked up cash, you have until Saturday to hand it over. If not, you will face criminal charges.

Cash scattered everywhere–a routine trip through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel is everything but ordinary.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Trevor Stanton.

Wednesday night, rear doors to an armored Brinks truck bust open inside the tunnel, spilling cash in the path of drivers traveling behind it due to what police are now calling a door malfunction.

MDTA quickly blocks off both ends of the tunnel for hours as they retrieve most of the fallen money–but not all of it.

“Money blowing, free money, I guess. People just not in the right state of mind, just see the money and get out and go. It’s natural instinct,” said Michael Rickard.

MDTA Police say cameras inside the tunnel captured parts of the incident, which will help them to identify those drivers who took cash, if needed.

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“I think it’s important that people realize there are cameras in the tunnel,” said Sgt. Jonathan Green, Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

Sgt. Green says MDTA and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office are now offering immunity. Those who snatched some of the cash have until Saturday to hand it over–no questions asked…

“I think it’s important that we remember that this is somebody else’s currency,” Sgt. Green said.

…Without facing any criminal charges–what they say is a golden opportunity to step up and do the right thing.

“I think that’s a good offer to try and get some of it back. I’ll be interested to see if many people actually do turn money back in,” said Stanton.

Those who took cash have until 5 p.m. Saturday to call MDTA Police and hand it over. If not, they’re facing theft charges–possibly even more serious charges, depending on how much cash they took.

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Police say the exact dollar amount of what’s still missing is not available because of the ongoing investigation.

Rick Ritter