Good Samaritan Returns Wallet Stolen From U.S. Veteran With $700 Inside

January 02, 2016

Good Samaritan Returns Wallet Stolen From U.S. Veteran With $700 Inside

A retired veteran was thankful for the act of a good samaritan who returned his stolen wallet. Not only did he return the military veteran's wallet, but that wallet was returned with $700 inside.

Retired veteran Jim Lear, 76, was on a motorized cart shopping in the aisles of a Publix store in Winter Haven, Florida, around 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 26 when he unknowingly dropped his wallet on the floor.

A man walked by, picked up the veteran's wallet, and instead of returning it to Lear, put the wallet in his pocket and kept walking. All of this is captured in the security camera footage below.

According to police and news reports, within minutes the thief began using the veteran's credit cards fraudulently and used the vet's debit card to steal $300. There was also $700 in cash in the wallet.

Two days later Rick Ochoa was checking trash cans in the neighborhood for recyclable items. That's when when he found Lear's wallet in a garbage can - and the wallet still had $700 inside.

Unlike the thief from Publix, Ochoa decided to do the right thing and return the wallet to its rightful owner.

When Lear came to reclaim his wallet at the Winter Haven Police Department, Ochoa was there and the two men hugged. Lear also gave Ochoa $100 as a token of thanks, which Ochoa said he will donate to a charity for homeless veterans.

"I told him I love him," Lear said. "I said I was going to kiss him, but haha, I don't think."

"A big old hug is good," Ochoa added.

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