Cheryl Gavazzi found $11,000 at a store in Massachusetts earlier this month.
Gavazzi was shopping at a Marshall's in Swampscott when she found a Vera Bradley bag hanging on a rack, according to CBS. She considered purchasing the item, so she grabbed it and opened the zipper to see the inside. Only then did she realize that there was over $11,000 in that bag, along with diapers and some medical records. The exact amount was $11,340, according to Salem News.
Cheryl Gavazzi told the Boston Globe that she first thought the $11,000 that she had found at the store was involved in some kind of drug deal. So she tossed it into her cart and walked around the store, hoping the owner would notice the cash was missing and come forward. When that did not happen, she decided to go straight to the police.
"I ran to the car, threw it in the front seat and locked my doors, looking for drug dealers following me," Gavazzi recalled. "I'm a nervous wreck looking."
The woman then realized that she had no idea where the Swampscott police station was. So she drove home and headed to a hair appointment instead. When she returned, she took the $11,000 that she had found and took it to a police station in Beverly, Massachusetts, where she lives. There, she discovered that a man from Lynn, Massachusetts had reported the money missing that very afternoon.
"He went shopping with his family, his wife put the diaper bag down, and she forgot it," Swampscott Police Detective Timothy Cassidy explained.
The man has who lost the $11,000 at the store has so far chosen to remain anonymous. Reports indicate that he was planning to use the funds to build a church in his native Guatemala. He also asked for Cheryl Gavazzi's phone number so that he could call her personally.
"He called me and said, 'I just want to thank you so much. It's not my money. I would have had to give up Christmas for my kids and sell my car,' " Gavazzi said.
In fact, the man was so grateful towards the woman who found his $11,000 at the store that he gave her $200 as a reward.
"That's not my money," Cheryl Gavazzi said. "If it had happened to me, I would hope that someone would do the same."
Indeed, there are other recent examples of citizens around the country finding large sums of money and returning them to their rightful owners. According to the Huffington Post, a Wellesley man found $20,000 hidden in a book and was attempting to find the owner. If he could not, he was going to donate a portion of the cash to charity.
Similarly, a Goodwill store manager in Texas found over $3,000 inside donated shoes and quickly pulled them off the shelves. As it turns out, a woman had given the shoes to the store without realizing her husband had stored his life savings in them. She later came back to the shop to claim them.