Pastor loses wallet in supermarket, stranger gets free groceries - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Pastor loses wallet in supermarket, stranger gets free groceries

LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) -

If you find money on the ground and you don't know where it came from, what would you do with it?

LaGrange Police say turning it in to authorities isn't just the right thing to do- it's the law.

That's especially true when the money is in a wallet alongside the rightful owner's I.D.

Police said that was the case when a man shopping at the Commerce Square Kroger in LaGrange picked up a wallet containing about $100.00.

A detective said the unidentified man used the money to buy his own groceries.

"There was an older man, camouflage shirt, kind of balding, he was in the aisle with the gentleman [who dropped the wallet.]  He picked up the wallet.  As far as I know, he kept it, because it was never turned in to the police department, nor was it turned in to the store."

The wallet belonged to Gary Whatley, the pastor of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Troup County. 

He and his son noticed it was missing almost immediately after they dropped it, and they went to the front desk to see if it had been returned.

"We thought maybe someone would come down and turn it in. We waited about an hour.  They obviously had enough time," said Whatley.

His son, Ryan Whatley, is the one who physically dropped the wallet. He said he can usually count on strangers to be Good Samaritans.

"Most of the time, if I've lost something, I've seen someone find it and go to the front and I've actually been lucky.  There are still some good people out there, but there are some people who think they need it more than the actual person who lost it."

LaGrange police said two other women were shopping with the man who was seen in video taking the wallet, and one of them is clearly visible in the clip released to the media.

Under the law, police say failing to return lost money is considered theft.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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