Sunday, August 15, 1999

Billfold lost, but honesty wasn't


Woman's tears now of joy

The Associated Press

        NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Charlotte Waldridge was sure she would never see her wallet or the $564 in it again.

        Ms. Waldridge, a laborer at Square D Co. in Lexington, had hidden the wallet in an empty circuit-breaker box for safekeeping on July 17 while she took a break.

        When she returned a few minutes later, the box was gone — inadvertently sealed by another employee and shipped.

        “I got so sick I thought I would pass out,” said Ms. Waldridge, who lives in Lawrenceburg, Ky. “I didn't ever think I would stop crying.”

        Meanwhile, Dwight Anderson shelled out $133 for a circuit breaker at the Home Depot on Wednesday in Clarksville, Ind. When the New Albany electrician got to his work site and opened the box, he found no circuit breaker.

        But as he dug down into the box, Mr. Anderson discovered a wallet, $564 in cash, some credit cards and personal papers. He immediately took the box and the wallet back to Home Depot, and store managers called police.

        On Wednesday night, Ms. Waldridge, a 53-year-old mother of six who works about 70 hours a week to make ends meet, learned from police that her wallet had been found and turned in — the cash still inside.

        “God was guiding that billfold all the way,” Ms. Waldridge said. “He could have took the money and threw the billfold away. I'm so grateful someone was that honest.”

        On Friday, Ms. Waldridge went to the Clarksville police station to pick up the money and then drove to New Albany to meet Mr. Anderson at his business, Anderson Electric. They shook hands and she choked back tears. She offered him a $100 reward, but he turned it down.

        “He'll never know how thankful I am,” Ms. Waldridge said.

       



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