Valparaiso resale shop worker finds $7K in coat pocket, gives it back to owner

VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Thousands of dollars are back in the hands of its rightful owner after it was left in a coat pocket at an Indiana resale shop.

"When I stuck my hand in [the coat pocket] is when I felt it," said Jennifer Kimes.

Kimes works at the Plato's Closet Valparaiso, and serves as proof that there are good people in the world.

"I mean, sometimes you find gum, or a picture, or a grocery list," Kimes said. "You don't find $7,000 in a pocket."

Kimes said she was going through her normal routine while examining a jacket when she found something she never expected.

"It just scared me," she said. "It made me nervous. I mean, you know, everybody wants to hold a wad of cash, but it wasn't mine so I didn't get too excited about it."

Kimes said she immediately put the money in a safe spot in the register and called owner Tammy Wendland.

"I'm saying to her 'what did you say? What did you say?' And [she said] 'a very large sum of money,' and I was so surprised," Wendland said.

Wendland said she wasn't surprised by her employees actions, but instead at the amount of money that was left behind.

"They're trusting us and we want to live up to that trust that they're giving us," she said.

"It's just about integrity. So when you work with things like this you have to make sure that you're honest and you do the right thing," Kimes added.

The next day Wendland reached out to the owner and brought it back to him. She said he had hidden the money but forgot that he had placed it in that pocket.

"He was extremely grateful. Just extremely, overwhelmingly grateful," Wendland said.

There was no reward, but Wendland and Kimes said it's just part of the job.

"Doing the right thing is rewarding intrinsically. It makes you feel good inside to do the right thing and there's really nothing as special as feeling good inside,"
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.