Pinal County public works employee finds wallet, tracks down owner living in Canada

From left are Mike House who was reunited with his wallet thanks to Pinal County Public Works employee Robert Shamhart. (Photo courtesy of Pinal County)

Pinal County Public Works Director Louis Andersen received an e-mail recently from a grateful winter visitor who alerted him to an employee who went out of his way to return his lost wallet.

Finding and returning a wallet with $200 cash, identification and credit cards inside, is what most of us would do without hesitation.  Public Works employee Bob Shamhart, who is with the Apache Junction road crew, found the wallet in December.  Mr. Shamhart found the Canadian identification, went to the Internet and looked to see if he could find the owner.  Striking out on the Internet, Mr. Shamhart went to the old fashioned way of contacting the owner – by mail.
“It was mid-December, and my wife and I flew to Yukon for Christmas,” Mike House, the wallet’s owner told Mr. Andersen.  “About a week after arriving in Yukon (Canada), we got a letter in the mail that said that a person had found my wallet and would be happy to keep it for us until we returned to Apache Junction, send it, or do whatever was necessary at their cost to get my wallet and me re-united.”
Mr. House responded to Mr. Shamhart that he would be back in Apache Junction after the first of the year.  So Mr. Shamhart held onto the wallet and waited to meet with Mr. House, who was visibly relieved to have his money and cards back.  Mr. House even offered the money in the wallet as a reward; Mr. Shamhart politely refused and said he was pleased to find the owner.
“A person who works hard for a living found a wallet with money in it, and the wallet contained no ID other than a name and address from another country,” Mr. House said in the e-mail.  “There was absolutely nothing in the wallet that explained my situation, disability, etc.  For all he knew I could have been a murderer, or in any event it appeared I was a snowbird with no ties to the United States, who was probably well off, at least enough so as to vacation here.”
Mr. Andersen said he always enjoys hearing what kind of job public works crews are doing out in the field, but a letter like this is extra special.  Mr. Shamhart will be recognized by the department for his work in getting the owner reunited with his wallet.
In the last paragraph of the e-mail, Mr. House told Mr. Andersen of his meeting with Mr. Shamhart: “When I asked him why he did this and why he didn’t just take the money and throw the billfold away, he looked at me kind of bewildered and said, ‘well, it wasn’t my money.'”
Editor’s note: Joe Pyritz is the spokesman for Pinal County.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment