Couple returns $11,000 found by Golden Gate Bridge

February 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
What would you do if you found $11,000 in cash on the Golden Gate Bridge? A Vallejo couple made that surprising discovery on Valentine's Day. ABC7 News spoke with them about their find and their decision.

The couple said they stopped by a Golden Gate Bridge vista point to take in the view before going to dinner in San Francisco on Valentine's Day. They found a black camera bag along the stone wall that contained money.

"I said this is a Valentine's Day that we're never going to forget," said Barbara Landeros.

When Barbara and Carlos Landeros opened the abandoned bag they found credit cards and a wallet with $1,000.

"Next to the wallet was an envelope. Inside the envelope there was hundreds? $10,000 of $100 bills. I said, 'Oh my gosh. This is a lot of money. I said well this could be anything. This could be a setup, it could be drug money.' I told my husband we should take it to San Francisco police," said Barbara.

So they went to San Francisco's Hall of Justice where the officer they spoke to was shocked they were turning in the money.

"I told him it doesn't belong to us, so that's why we're turning it in. The guy said, 'You are very good people.' I said, 'Well, we feel proud of doing it,'" said Barbara.

Police tracked the bag to a tourist from China who accidentally left it as his family took photos at the Golden Gate Bridge. They drove to Vallejo to try and thank the Landeros and left a handwritten note. Others say they may have been tempted to keep the cash.

"I would turn it in eventually. But I would hold into it for a few days, maybe count it, quite a few times, maybe smell it, play around with it for a little bit," said Sausalito resident Markus Cole.

But the Landeros feel they did the right thing even if it spoiled their Valentine's Day plans.

"No dinner, no nothing. We didn't expect it was going to happen like this," said Barbara.

In the end the Landeros had dinner at the McDonald's across from the police station. Meanwhile, that tourist from China, who got his $11,000 back, has officially invited the Landeros to come visit him in China, and even stay at his house. The Landeros say they're thinking about it.

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