(STOCKTON, Calif.) — An honest bagel cafe worker from Stockton, California, recently found and returned a lost wallet containing $4,000 in cash to its rightful owner, who was brought to tears by her kindness.
Bagel Express Delicafe employee Starla Beltran told ABC News that she found the wallet in the parking lot of the plaza where her bagel shop is located earlier this week.
Beltran immediatley noticed the wallet was so stuffed with cash that it couldn’t close, she said, and she admitted that at first she was tempted to take the money and clear some of her worries.
“In my life right now, I’m kind of in a bad place and really struggling,” she said. “My car is broken down, there’s some things with my son going on and I just lost my apartment.”
But the bagel shop employee quickly turned away the temptation to use the money for herself, she said.
“I slept on it, and the next day, I thought, what if it was me who lost that?” Beltran said. “When I looked at the ID in the wallet, I realized the address for the owner was right down the street from my house, so I went over there the next day.”
When Tony Sumahit, the owner of the wallet, came to the door to get it, he “started tearing up,” Beltran said.
“I was in shock,” Sumahit told ABC affiliate KXTV in Sacramento. “I told her, ‘You know, I don’t think I could have done it what you did.'”
Sumahit explained that the wallet must have fallen out of his pocket when he stopped at a sandwich shop in the plaza recently. He added that he had taken out $4,000 in cash to pay a down payment on a car that day but had changed his mind.
“That night I [lost the wallet] barely slept,” he said. “It was the worst night because of the holidays and all.”
Sumahit gave Beltran $300 as a thank you, but she said the joy she felt helping out a stranger was priceless.
“This is something money can’t buy, this type of happiness,” she said. “If I kept the money and got a car or something, I definitely wouldn’t have the type of joy I have now. Since the day I gave it back, it’s just been so awesome and it’s great knowing you someone’s not suffering anymore.”
She added, “Even when things aren’t going right, there’s always room to make right decisions.”
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