Public Works Employee Finds Wallet & Tracks Down Owner who Lives in Canada

Public Works Employee Finds Wallet & Tracks Down Owner who Lives in Canada

Pinal County Public Works Director Louis Andersen received an email recently from a grateful winter visitor that alerted him to an employee who went out of his way to return his lost wallet.

Finding and returning a wallet with $200 cash, identification and credit cards inside, is what most of us would do without hesitation. Public Works employee Bob Shamhart, who is with the Apache Junction Road Crew, found the wallet in December. Shamhart found the Canadian identification, went to the internet and looked to see if he could find the owner. Striking out on the internet, Shamhart went to the old fashioned way of contacting the owner - by mail.

"It was mid-December, and my wife and I flew to Yukon for Christmas," Mike House, the wallet's owner told Andersen. "About a week after arriving in Yukon (Canada), we got a letter in the mail that said that a person had found my wallet and would be happy to keep it for us until we returned to Apache Junction, send it, or do whatever was necessary at their cost to get my wallet and me re-united."

House responded to Shamhart that he would be back in Apache Junction after the first of the year. So Shamhart held onto the wallet and waited to meet with House, who was visibly relieved to have his money and cards back. House even offered the money in the wallet as a reward, Shamhart politely refused and said he was pleased to find the owner.

"A person who works hard for a living found a wallet with money in it, and the wallet contained no ID other than a name and address from another country," House said in the email. "There was absolutely nothing in the wallet that explained my situation, disability, etc. For all he knew I could have been a murderer, or in any event it appeared I was a snowbird with no ties to the United States, who was probably well off, at least enough so as to vacation here."

Director Andersen said he always enjoys hearing what kind of job Public Works crews are doing out in the field, but a letter like this is extra special. Shamhart will be recognized by the Department for his work in getting the owner reunited with his wallet.

In the last paragraph of the email, House told Andersen of his meeting with Shamhart: "When I asked him why he did this and why he didn't just take the money and throw the billfold away, he looked at me kind of bewildered and said, 'well, it wasn't my money.'"