crimesider

Good Samari-teen finds $800, turns it in

(CBS) LA HABRA, Calif. - Police in Orange County, Calif., were stunned when an 18-year-old walked into their precinct and said he found nearly $800 that he wanted to return.

The Good Samaritan, college student Gerardo Marquez, told CBS Los Angeles that he and some friends went out for pizza last Friday night in La Habra and stumbled on the wad of bills.

The cash was in a plain white envelope...just laying on the ground, Marquez told the station. When his friend got out of the passenger seat, he stepped on the envelope.

"We were being human beings. Everyone's first thought was ... let's take it. But then we decided...wait, wait. No, no. Let's think this further," said the teen.

He called police and turned the money in.

"They were surprised," Marquez said. "Especially 'cuz I'm a teenager. I think that is what surprised them the most."

While a CBS Los Angeles reporter was covering the story, a woman exited a store next to the parking lot where the money was found. She believed the bills belonged to her manager. In fact, the manager was able to specify the exact amount of money in the envelope as well as a name that was written on it.

The reporter then connected the teen to the store manager, by phone, for a rich reunion.

The manager thanked Marquez profusely, saying he dropped the envelope on the way to the bank. He expected to have to pay for the loss out of his own paycheck.

He offered the Good Samari-teen, Gerardo Marquez, a $100 reward.

Marquez told CBS Los Angeles, "I just did what I would expect other people to do for me."

Marquez sounds humble but his mother said she was quite impressed with her boy.

"I feel so proud about him and his friends," she said.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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