A Florida homeless man was reunited with nearly $10,000 in cash he left on a bus bench, thanks to a Good Samaritan and a Sheriff’s deputy.
Ihe man — identified only as Joe — was left $12,000 from a relative who passed away, the Sun Sentinel reported. He withdrew almost $10,000 of the inheritance from a Wells Fargo bank in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea on June 1 and went shopping, but accidentally left two plastic bags of merchandise and two envelopes full of money on a bus bench.
“He knew it was left there, but he figured by the time he thought about going back to get it, it would be gone,” Det. Danny Mursell told the Sentinel.
On June 4 between 3 and 5 a.m., John Harbett found an envelope filled with $3,900 in cash while on beach patrol. He took it home so that nobody else would take it. Just a short time later, Deputy Ben Koos found the bags of merchandise and the second envelope — filled with $5,600 in cash — and took it back to the sheriff’s substation.
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Detectives were able to identify Joe thanks to a receipt from a clothing store and surveillance footage from the store. Koos began showing the photo to several people in the area where the money was left.
“One of our guys got word that [Joe] was seen over in Pompano, so I spent two mornings and two evenings driving around Pompano and I never found him,” Mursell said.
Joe surfaced a short time later.
“For a completely different reason, I was downtown in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and I looked over and [Joe] was standing there drinking a cup of coffee in front of me,” Mursell said. “He wasn't sure about how to go about getting his property back."
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The money was returned to Joe, and he returned it to his bank account. The man was relieved to be reunited with the money and said he planned to use it to relocate to Pennsylvania, where he could be closer to family and friends.