If you find a purse


Hawaii at sunset (photo by Ted Trimmer).

Sometime in the early 1990s, I had an awful experience.  This is what happened:

After buying groceries at a shopping center near my residence, I transferred the food from the shopping cart to my trunk, closed the trunk, and drove home.  When I parked my car, I discovered my purse was missing.  Since my house key was in my purse, I could not open the door.  So I returned to the shopping center, looked in vain for my purse in the carts, and then visited the customer service counters of Kmart and Sack n Save.  No one had seen my purse.

Meanwhile, my frozen groceries were melting!

Desperate, I drove to church, where David and the children were sitting, got his house key, went home and put the groceries into the fridge.  Then, I turned on the answering machine and heard a message.  A man said his wife had found my purse in a cart and had brought it home.  He told me to call him.  Apparently, he had seen my phone number on my checks.

Aargh!  Why hadn’t his wife taken my purse to the customer service counter, instead?  (I didn’t tell him that.)

Anyway, long story short, I met the man at a gas station and got my purse back after offering him a $10 reward, which he declined.  (He also kissed my cheek!)

Point of the story:  If you find someone’s purse, take it to the customer service department of the store, because most owners would check there first.  Besides, without a house key, how would the owner hear your message on the answering machine?

13 Responses to “If you find a purse”

  1. DeniseinVA Says:

    Good point! It is a distressing situation. We once found a wallet in parking lot and turned it into customer service. My husband visited our son at his apartment complex and lost his wallet. Someone turned it into the office after taking out two hundred dollars first.

  2. Joanne Noragon Says:

    I’ve had two purses go missing in my life, both times to a thief. It would be sensible for the finder of a lost purse to give it to the authorities; that’s where we check first.

  3. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    He was an old lech and you were a pretty young girl.

  4. mmmm Says:

    I found a purse and a cell phone at the walgreens parking lot, on a blistering sunny and hot day, I walked about a mile to the police dept. and had them call the young lady, it contained her phone number I don’t use a cell phone and did not know how to push the buttons to get someone to get her belongings, she was the same age as my only child and had about the same dadblasted birthdate to boot, she put it on top of her car and drove off not knowing what she did, I tried to yell she kept driving, a fellow walked beside me and I circled back tot the store I got a feeling of danger, then went to the police station the nice police fellow called on her own phone and her mom answered and raced to the place she offered me $50.00 I declined, I was just really ill from dehydration it hit 100 and the humidity was horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her Mom stated she was out and about with her new to her car and paying her bills at a credit union and forgot what she was doing, The Mom was grateful, now that police station is closed and many lost their jobs, crime is soaring, I only use a body purse and ride my bike in well lit places and never carry more than $5.00 in change and bills and my ID..I think criminals know a lot more than most people about jacking people and stealing if only they could use this to actually work, we are retired and we watch and see how young people act, it is something else living by a high school and all, the times are changing all right but not in our opinion for the good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Olga Says:

    I once left my purse in a Boston area McDonald’s, I don’t know why I even had it as I had my money and keys in my pockets. I did realize I left the purse fairly quickly and went back into get the purse. It was gone. I asked at the counter and the kids there just laughed at the very idea that someone would find a purse and turn it in.
    I called my husband and told him to cancel credit cards right away and drove on back to VT. The next day I got a phone call from a man who had found the purse in the parking lot. He told me he had put in the mail. What a nice guy!
    I guess whoever snagged it in the McDonald’s only was looking for cash because all the cards were still in the bag when I got it back.

  6. Jan Says:

    I remember once long ago losing my wallet while traveling. After going back to all the places I might have left it, I gave up and canceled my credit card and replaced my driver’s license. Then when I returned home after two weeks of traveling, someone had mailed it to my home (seeing the address on my license) and all $150 I had in there was intact! No way to say thank you, but I was so surprised. 🙂

  7. Christine Says:

    but it’s great you got your purse back somehow!

  8. Christine Says:

    The only time I was in New York City in the eighties, I was in a store and found a wallet on the floor full of cash, I turned it in to the cashier and wondered what became of it!

  9. palolo Says:

    You’re lucky he was honest. If a bad person found your purse and keys they could rob your house unless you changed every door lock. This man saved you thousands of dollars.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Well, I do have a security alarm on all exterior doors and windows, so no problem. If anyone breaks in, the alarm will sound and the monitoring agency will call the police.

  10. L....w Says:

    I agree they should have turned your purse in to the store.

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    Sure, there’s that. But then there should be gratitude for not just taking any valuables and tossing it in the dumpster, or beating you home and robbing your house. You were lucky.

  12. Musings Says:

    You were really lucky that the couple returned your purse. That was really frightening. Art’s wallet apparently fell out of his pocket at the movie theater and he changed all the cards, etc. The next day, the theater called to say some teenagers turned it in. Everything was there and they didn’t leave their names. They were just very honest. My cousin says he would expect that. I was amazed.

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