Case of Found Money Holds One More Surprise

West Shore

2015-06-25 09:14 PDT

File # 2015-8320

A recent story that captured national media attention and resulted in thousands of dollars being donated by people across Canada, has provided yet one more surprise. After hours of searching for the homeless man who turned in over $2000 in found cash, Cst. Alex Bérubé was successful in locating him on June 22nd, only to learn that while very grateful for the generosity of strangers, the man does not want to accept the thousands raised for him.

“After hearing this story and seeing how this case touched so many people, I took a personal interest in finding this man, looking for him everywhere while on and off shift. It's not easy tracking down a person of no fixed address and no phone, but I kept trying because I needed to tell him about how the community had rallied together to help him,” states Cst. Alex Bérubé, of the West Shore RCMP. “I finally caught up to him on Monday and told him about the fundraising organized by Mike Kelly of Victoria Buzz, and that he had thousands of dollars waiting for him. His response surprised me yet again, when instead of asking how to collect it, he asked me how to donate it to Our Place and other food service providers for people in need.”

Realizing that the news may have been overwhelming for the man, investigators asked him to think about it overnight, and meet them at the West Shore Detachment the next day. The man came back the next day, and stuck to his original request that the funds raised in his name be donated, adding that what he really wants is a job. Mike Kelly has been advised of the man's decision, which he provided in writing to officers (image attached). Mike will continue to manage the raised funds and see that the right groups receive them. As for the man's request for help finding a job, Mike is spearheading that effort as well.

Photo of note written by homeless man asking that the money be donated to charity.

“When I first heard about this man and what he had done, I started thinking of how we could help him”, said Mike Kelly of Victoria Buzz. “Here is a man who is facing many challenges, yet despite that, he chose to do the right thing and see that another person wasn't left short thousands of dollars and facing the challenges that would bring them. Now I'm going to do everything I can to help find him a job that fits his personal situation, and will hopefully move him closer to overcoming his current challenges.”

The man, who will not be identified at his request, did not want to be part in any public or media attention, choosing instead to acknowledge the generosity of the community by paying it forward.

To cap off this story, the rightful owner of the original $2400 found on the street has been identified. The man, who does not want to be identified publicly, has answered a series of specific questions posed by investigators, clearly identifying himself as the rightful owner. He has since collected his money from the detachment.

West Shore RCMP

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