Every parent knows that once their children start walking, they are in for trouble. Things get broken, stuff gets flushed down the toilet, toddler art appears on the wall done with a permanent marker and generally, havoc reigns. However, two-year-old Leo Belnap can take the cake for what he managed to get up to.

His parents, Ben and Jackee Belnap had $1,060 (£810) in cash in an envelope. They had been saving for some time to pay back a loan to Ben’s parents to buy season tickets for the University of Utah football games. Now their hard-earned savings are in thousands of pieces, thanks to their toddler and a home shredder.

First she cried a bit, then she laughed

As reported by the BBC, the Belnaps live in the Salt Lake City area of Utah and when the envelope of cash went missing on Sunday, they searched their entire house, looking under cushions and rugs and even digging in the rubbish bin. At first, they had no luck, but while Ben was going through the rubbish bin, he suddenly heard Jackee shout. She had found the envelope. The only problem was that it was in a thousand pieces in the shredder.

Culprit swiftly found

The Washington Post reports that Jackee immediately knew Leo was responsible for shredding the cash.

It turns out she had recently got the toddler to help her shred various documents and junk mail. Having learned how to do it, he thought he could help his parents even more by shredding the envelope he had discovered lying around the home.

Speaking to News4Utah, Jackee said at first she cried, but only for a minute.

They couldn’t help it, they both laughed. She said as sick and devastated as they were for losing the money, it was just one of those moments when you have to laugh.

Mutilated cash redemption

It turns out all may not be lost for the couple as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing does have a solution. They have a Mutilated Currency Division, a special service devoted to recovering money that has been burned, chemically altered, waterlogged or chewed by a rodent.

In this case, of course, it was shredded by a two-year-old toddler. It is reportedly a free service and after handling around 30,000 claims each year, they have redeemed over $30 million in damaged cash.

While that sounds really good, the shredded cash must be sent to the Bureau for examination by experts before a redemption can occur. The couple is now hoping to take the bureau up on the offer and they got in touch, to be told they must send the remains of the notes in Ziploc baggies to Washington. They might be lucky and could receive the cash between six months and three years in the future.

Jackee said obviously Leo will not get near the shredder again, but she did add it will make the ideal wedding story one of these days. Let’s face it, one way or another the kid is never going to live this down.