March 3, 2009

Man mistakenly gave $10K to thrift store

A Florida man credited thrift store employees with returning $10,000 that was mistakenly mixed in with plastic grocery bags that he donated.

London Willis said he was shopping at the Junior League of Daytona Beach Thrift Store last fall when he discovered the store was short on plastic bags, leading him to donate a stash of bags he was keeping at home, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Willis said he did not realize at the time that his life savings, more than $10,000, had been hidden among the bags in two envelopes.

I had no idea the money was packed away in the bags, Willis said.

Store employee Norma Wells discovered the money and gave it to her supervisor, who handed the cash over to police. Officers said two people attempted to claim the money, but another worker at the store, Bernadette Albright, recognized Willis as the man who had donated the bags when he returned to the shop about a month later.

I do not forget anybody's face, she said. I was just very thankful.

Willis said he had not even realized the money was gone until he returned to the store. He said he presented Wells and Albright with flowers and gave them each an envelope containing a $500 reward.