Homeless Man Returns Backpack Full of Money
Bostonian finds satchel with $2.4K in cash, $40K in traveler's checks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2013 4:57 PM CDT

(Newser) – A homeless Boston man who police said turned in a backpack containing tens of thousands of dollars in cash and traveler's checks said even if he were desperate he wouldn't have kept a cent. Boston police chief Ed Davis honored Glen James yesterday, giving him a citation and thanking him for an "extraordinary show of character and honesty." James said in a handwritten statement he gave out at a news conference that he was glad to make sure the bag and its contents were returned to the owner. "Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny," he said.

James found the backpack at the South Bay Mall in the city's Dorchester neighborhood Saturday evening. He flagged down a police officer and handed it over. Inside was $2,400 in US currency, almost $40,000 in traveler's checks, Chinese passports, and other personal papers. The backpack is now back in the possession of its owner, a Chinese student who was visiting another student in Boston. James, who didn't give his age, said he is from the Boston area and has been homeless since 2005. A police spokeswoman said that James is staying at a city homeless shelter and that many people have expressed interest in helping him since hearing about his good deed.

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Sep 28, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
The real story here is why the Feds didn't arrest the "owner" of the "tens of thousands" for evading currency laws. A foreign visitor can put their cash in an international bank in any country and have access to it as they need it in the US or anywhere else. Even the backpack is suspect as most legitimate business people carry *locking* briefcases when they travel with important documents or negotiable instruments. A backpack is meant to cause any inspector to examine less rigorously as it appears lower in value. The "businessman" is probably a "currency mule" used by drug, prostitution and gambling cartels to launder illegal cash now that any transaction over $5k needs to be officially declared so the origin can be checked. There is absolutely NO reason for anyone with that amount of money not having the ability to transfer it between countries through banks unless they are trying to avoid being traced by U.S. authorities, or maybe Interpol.
Sep 18, 2013 8:31 AM CDT
Thank God there are still honest people in the world. I sure hope he gets a good reward.
Sep 18, 2013 3:41 AM CDT
Seems like a lot of money to pack around in a backpack