If you were at the Empire Center shopping center in Burbank last night, you would have seen something that looked like a riot: hundreds of people running around wildly, climbing on bus stops and jumping out of their cars suddenly. They all were after envelopes of money secretly placed around the mall by the mysterious man behind @HiddenCash.

For just over a week, the person controlling @HiddenCash—who describes himself as a "wealthy" 40-something real estate developer—has been hiding money, usually around $250 per envelope, in and around the Bay Area and Los Angeles. After placing the cash, he gives hints on Twitter about the locations.

As the account has picked up in popularity, the scavenger hunts have become more and more intense. This video shows people in Burbank combing through trash cans (hint: the money is not in the trash).

The frenzy has no doubt been stoked by @HiddenCash liberally retweeting photos of those who have found money.

That the game has reached its zenith in Los Angeles—perhaps the most shamelessly opportunistic place in America—isn't exactly surprising, but one figures the LAPD is thinking about putting a stop to this Robin Hood-times-Willy Wonka act.

But if anyone should be paying attention to @HiddenCash it's the federal government: forcing rich people to wantonly giving away their fortunes to random citizens would be very good public policy.

[image via Twitter]