LA HABRA (CBSLA.com) — Police in La Habra were stunned when an 18-year-old walked into their precinct and said he found nearly $800 that he wanted to return.
Kristine Lazar, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, met the Good Samaritan — namely college student Gerardo Marquez — and asked about his good character.
He told her that he and some friends went out for pizza last Friday night in La Habra and stumbled on the wad of bills.
The loot was in a plain white envelope … just laying on the ground. When Marquez’ 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, ‘We don’t get calls like this.’ Especially cause I’m a teenager. I think that is what surprised them the most.”
While Lazar was reporting on the story, a woman exited a cell phone store — adjacent to that parking lot where the money was found. She believed the money belonged to her manager. In fact, the manager was able to name the exact amount of money in the envelope as well as a name that was written on it.
Lazar united the teen with the store manager, by phone, for a happy reunion.
The store manager thanked the teen, profusely, saying he dropped it on the way to the bank. The manager believed he would have to pay for the deposit out of his own paycheck.
He offered the humble teen a $100 reward.
Lazar asked Marquez how he felt doing such a good deed. “I don’t really feel any different,” he said, “I just did what I would expect other people to do for me.”
Marquez might remain humble but his mom told Lazar she was quite impressed with her boy. “I feel so proud about him and his friends,” she said.