CALGARY - It was a case of being in the right place at the right time, but a homeless Calgary woman who found a purse with more than $10,000 refused to pocket the find.
The woman, who currently stays at the Calgary’s YWCA, surrendered the purse with $10,400 in hundred-dollar bills inside it to police. She wants to remain anonymous.
“It never crossed my mind to keep the money,” she said. “It’s not mine to keep. I didn’t think keeping it at all.”
The woman had just exited Rocky Mountain Plaza on Macleod Tr. and 7 Ave. S.E., at around 10:45 a.m. on Thursday when she saw the purse leaning against the passenger door of a vehicle in front of the building.
“I didn’t know what it was at first and the car took off,” she said.
“I tried to race after them, seeing if I can get their attention, of course they didn’t see me.”
The woman was unsure of what to do with the purse, so she took it with her and returned to her room at the YWCA downtown.
She opened the purse looking for a phone number to call and was shocked to find the pile of cash.
“I was amazed. I had no idea how much money there was and I guess I was a little bit nervous about having that much money, too.”
She told her case manager and asked for advice what to do with it.
They counted the money and called police to report the find.
Const. Eddie Chesal said they got the call and the purse was surrendered at about 11:30 a.m.
Within five minutes, the owner of the purse had called to report it missing.
A mother and her two sons from Edmonton claimed the purse and the cash.
The owner didn’t disclose why she had that much cash in her purse, but Chesal said he doesn’t believe anything illegal is behind it.
What Chesal found unusual was that someone returned the money.
“It’s not very common, especially someone in her situation,” he said.
“It definitely could have ended differently had somebody else found it.
“I spoke with her and she’s very humble about it.”
The woman said the money could have “made a difference” -- she’s looking for a place to live -- but her conscience wouldn’t let her keep it.
However, if the owner of the money were to generously offer a reward, the woman said she wouldn’t refuse it.