Their Valentine's Day date could have been a big payday for another couple, but two California good Samaritans who found $11,000 in cash in a forgotten camera bag turned it in for an eventual return to its grateful owner.
Carlos and Barbara Landeros had driven from Vallejo to San Francisco on Feb. 14 for a romantic dinner. On their way into the city, they decided to stop at Vista Point for its view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
While at the park, Barbara Landeros noticed a black camera bag sitting unaccompanied among a bustle of tourists. Hoping the owner would come back looking for it, the couple stayed there for almost an hour.
"We waited about 45 minutes before we picked up the bag," Barbara Landeros told NBC San Diego
. "Because we didn't know who it belongs to."
After no one came looking for the camera bag, she finally took a look inside. There were a couple of camera lenses, some credit cards, and an envelope stuffed with $11,060.42.
"I got nervous at first, it could be drug money," she told the news station. "I was scared."
The couple decided the best course of action would be to turn the bag in. They took it to San Francisco's Hall of Justice and turned it over to authorities. Barbara Landeros recalled the officer at the station saying he was proud of them.
Police used the credit cards inside the bag to trace it back to its original owner, a Chinese tourist visiting San Francisco. The man, who didn't want his name revealed, said he was handling money for a few families visiting the city. He said he left the bag in the park after posing for family photos.
The owner eventually reached the Landeroses by phone to thank them. He also mailed them a reward.
Unfortunately, the Valentine's Day dinner the couple planned didn't happen. They hit traffic on their way back home and ended up going to a McDonald's next to the police station.
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