Homeless Man Returns Backpack Filled With Almost $42,000 In Cash And Checks

Tayla Holman - Author

Sep. 16 2013, Updated 9:52 a.m. ET

Boston, MA – A homeless man returned a backpack filled with cash and checks worth almost $42,000 Saturday night.

The backpack contained $2,400 in cash and $39,500 in travelers’ checks. There were also Chinese passports and other personal papers inside.

The man found the black backpack outside the TJ Maxx in South Bay around 5:30 pm and flagged down Boston police. Officers took the bag and notified store security. A Best Buy employee contacted police later Saturday night and said that a customer reported that he lost his backpack. The passport matched the customer’s identity, and police returned the backpack to him at the station.

The homeless man’s name was not made public, and he gave police the address of the Long Island Shelter, where he is staying.

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“People will probably tell him he’s nuts, but homeless people are the first to help you out,” said Bob Boisselle, who stays at the same shelter. “They don’t have anything, but they’ll give you what they do have.”

Boisselle added, “Homeless people know what it’s like to be down and out.”

Aaron Toye, who stays at a different Boston homeless shelter, said, “He’s got a great heart. He did the right thing.”

In February, a homeless man in Kansas City returned a diamond ring dropped in his change cup by accident. Billy Ray Harris kept the ring safe until Sarah Darling, the owner, came back. Darling said she might have given him something valuable, and Harris asked if it was the ring. When Darling said yes, he returned it.

Shortly after returning the ring, Billy Ray Harris was reunited with his family, whom he had been separated from for 16 years. His sister recognized him after the story went viral.

“It means the world,” Robin Harris Williams said. “I knew it was my brother as soon as I saw the picture, and automatically I just started yelling.”

Darling set up a campaign to help out Harris, which earned $183,000 by May.


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