July 7, 2009

Stolen wallet found years later in tree

A New York woman said a wallet stolen nearly 27 years ago in Central Park was found in inside a hollow tree.

Ruth Bendik, 60, said she was greeting runners at the end of the New York marathon Oct. 24,1982, and when I got out of the crush of people, I realized my purse was much lighter, CNN reported Tuesday.

Josh Galiley, tree-care supervisor for the Central Park Conservancy, said he was chopping down a 65-year-old hazardous black cherry tree in the park last week when he found the blue leather wallet in the hollow trunk.

I started poking in the soft stuff and this wallet turned up. Having been that low in the tree ... the location indicated it had been there for quite some time, Galiley said.

He said finding a wallet inside of a tree was a first for him.

When you're cutting a tree and it's hollow, you expect stuff inside, shreds of material, old marbles, really just knickknacks compared to this, he said.

Bendik praised those who found her wallet and tracked her down to return it.

The lengths they went to find me, the extent that they went through and the fact that they were concerned about my feelings really impressed me, she said.

She said all that was missing from the wallet, which still contained her driver's license and credit cards, was $20 cash.

Twenty dollars was a lot of money then, she said.