You see such things on TV’s Storage Wars, but when volunteers at Duncan’s Bibles for Missions Thrift Store found almost $1,000 in a suitcase, it was completely unexpected.
Two young women came in to drop off a suitcase full of things. Then they shopped in the store and left.
“It was a typical day, sorting all the items that came through our door,” said volunteer Carmen Allen. “The suitcase was full of items which needed to be sorted through before the case went on the shelf.
“I actually found it. We were just sorting, looking through the stuff and there it was in a tiny little cloth bag.” she said.
Allen was surprised.
“My first thought was, ‘This is not a donation. I’ve got to hand this in.’ It was mostly American money.”
There was an airline baggage claim ticket on the suitcase, which had been torn off and tossed in the garbage.
It was quickly retrieved.
After examination, it did not appear the suitcase belonged to anyone from the Valley. With the help of Whittome’s Travel, the information on the baggage tag was tracked to the university the girl had attended.
“From there we phoned the school and they were able to contact the girl in Thailand. She then phoned her friend in Cowichan Bay who came into the store and received the money.
“It’s pretty exciting that we were able to track her down and she was able to get her money back,” Allen said.
Apparently, the suitcase had been packed in the dark so it was easy to see how the little bag of money was overlooked, she continued.
“Her friend said: that’s a hard lesson for her. Her grandmother probably slipped the money into her bag. They were thrilled that we were so honest, to give the money back. Doing things the right way feels great.”
Another item of interest has also popped up at the thrift store.
An envelope with someone’s family history and photos, addressed to R. Haldorson of Cobble Hill, has turned up among the donations.
It can be claimed at the store.