Lots of $10, $20 and $50 bills blew down Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Capitol Hill yesterday, many of them grabbed by pedestrians. They came from a bank messenger's bag that was ripped open during a scuffle after a sidewalk theft.

Here, according to Washington Post reporter Alfred E. Lewis, is how the police recounted the incident:

An employe of the Interstate Federal Savings & Loan office at 201 Pennsylvania Ave. SE had gone to the nearby Security National Bank branch to pick up an undisclosed amount of money.

As the messenger and another Interstate employe were walking the half block back, a man ran past and grabbed the bag containing the money. A bystander chased and tackled the robber. The bag broke open, with many of the bills blowing down the avenue. The robber grabbed the bag and what remained in it and jumped into a car driven by a woman. The car was found abandoned a few blocks away.

Police said about $6,000 was recovered, but many of the pedestrians kept their findings.

It was the second theft involving a similar technique within two days, police said. On Tuesday, liquor store owner Roy Smith was shot to death outside a bank at 8th and H streets NE as a robber grabbed a sack of money he was carrying.