Good Samaritan Returns Lost Bag of Cash

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A River Valley man spread some holiday cheer this Christmas season by returning a lost bag of cash to the rightful owner.

“For two days I was basically sick,” said Don Ellis, of Alma.

Ellis knows what it is like to lose something. “It was about $1100 in cash plus some checks,” he said.

Ellis owns an antique shop in Alma. He went shopping in Fort Smith with a bag full of cash. When he got back, the money was missing.

“I searched that van from top to bottom, searched the shop, looked everywhere,” he said.

Ellis says he just knew the money was gone. “We've got a nice store and everything but you know we don't have a pile of money, and I'm sorry I'm getting a little emotional here,” he said.

Last Friday, two weeks after he lost the money, a man named Wayne Beck walked into the store.

“He walked over to the counter and laid our money bag on the counter,” said Ellis.

Beck says he found the bag of money on the Alma exit ramp along Interstate 40. “When I opened it up it was kind of like holy cow,” he said.

Beck knew keeping the cash was not an option. “Just the right thing to do,” he said. “It's not mine. He needed to get it back. I needed to get it to the right person.”

Beck returned every dollar. “He got a big grin on his face,” he said. “His wife did as well.”

Not a penny was missing. “It's wonderful, believe me, in this time and all the troubles the country's going through and everything to find out that there's still people out there that will do something like that,” said Ellis.

Beck told 5NEWS Ellis’ wife was in a similar situation and she also returned the cash. “They did the right thing and I did the right thing and they got something in return,” said Beck.

Ellis says he forced Beck to take a $100 bill. Ellis says Beck’s wife had just gone out and bought $100 worth of Christmas presents for children.

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