When five local youths found $600 cash on the floor of an Ocean Park restaurant last weekend, they didn’t think twice about what to do with it.
They picked up the six $100 bills and had them turned into the police, with the hope the money could be given back to its rightful owner.
“We don’t know if they’re a millionaire and they dropped $600 by fluke, or they were poor and that was their money for the week,” 12-year-old Noah Tregobou said Thursday. “We weren’t sure whose it was.”
Noah and friends Josh, Alex, Nicole and Melanie were eating pizza in a restaurant when they spotted the cash on the floor, by the register.
The group of 12- and 13-year-olds didn’t have to look far to find someone they could hand it in to – with Ocean Park Day festivities in full swing, the RCMP had a tent set up in the outside parking lot.
Josh’s dad, Steve Barrett, was at his Ocean Park business when the friends explained to him what they had done.
“They were so matter-of-fact that it had to be returned to whoever it belonged to,” Barrett said. “The idea of doing anything else with it never occurred to them.”
Barrett passed on his contact information to the officer, who said she’d call if the money’s owner was found.
“As it turned out, the information the police officer was able to give us was that this was a construction worker who… did a little extra work on a Saturday and got paid some money in cash,” Barrett said, noting the man had used his debit card at the restaurant, allowing police to determine his name. “So it was really nice to be able to tell (the kids) that it was really meaningful to the guy. It was really important to them.
“They felt like they really accomplished something.”
The man gave police $20 to pass onto the youth as a symbol of gratitude, Barrett said.
“Ourselves and another parent are going to multiply the money a bit and take them out for a pizza dinner or something,” he said, adding it is refreshing to hear of such good deeds amidst news of last week’s Vancouver riot.
“Everybody’s really disappointed, of course, with what happened with the hockey game, and it’s nice to have a positive story, with young people especially.”
Noah said there is a lesson that came out of the friends’ choice to return the money – one that others can learn from.
“Think before you make a choice,” he said. “Look at all the different sides.”