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.