Finders Keepers?

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Finders Keepers?

2 days ago this story ran that the city of Dallas was going to keep the $2000 that this girl found and turned in. After the story came out that Dallas was going to keep the money, private people have donated $7500 to the girl for doing the right thing and turning the money in. There was a huge public outcry and the city changed their minds and now have stated that if no one claims the money for another 90 days that they will give it to her.

So what do you think... should she get the money she found back if it is unclaimed or should the city get it?

DALLAS — Dallas will keep $2,000 found by a teenager in a parking lot last February.

The money will go into the city's general fund — not back to Plano high school student Ashley Donaldson, who found the cash in an envelope at the Pavillion Shopping Center in North Dallas.

"I don't regret making the decision I did," she said. "I feel proud of myself for giving the money back. It's one of the biggest decisions of my life."

The 15-year-old Shepton High School student spotted the money on the ground and took it to a nearby Chase Bank.

Over the last three months, the bank and Dallas police have tried to find the owner, but have had no luck.

On Tuesday, police said under a new city policy, the unclaimed money will go into Dallas' general fund — not back to the person who found it, as in years past.

"We appreciate your honesty," said Dallas police spokesman Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse. "We're going to put the money to good use. It's not going to be wasted, but put to good use for the City of Dallas."

That's not the answer Ashley Donaldson had been hoping for. "I was thinking about a car," she confessed.

It's also not the lesson her parents wanted her to learn.

"I'm happy that she did what she did, but the way it ended? I wish she didn't find it in the first place, because it certainly didn't teach her the right thing," her father Ben Donaldson said.

At the time Ashley found the envelope full of money, she was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her parents and her four brothers and sisters.

The family had recently moved to Texas from Colorado and could have used the money, but she felt that the $2,000 might mean more to its owner.

"This could be someone else's life, this could be someone's home," she said. "If I took it, I could never live down the guilt that would be in me."

Ashley said the bank was surprised to see such honesty, but her parents weren't.

"It was like an experience that presented itself — like a test — and my daughter passed with flying colors beautifully," said Ben Donaldson.

http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Dallas-decides-to-keep-cash-found-by-honest-teen-121609364.html

Stories of further developments:
http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-police-have-change-of-heart-on-cash-found-by-teen-121666329.html
http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Annonymous-donor-comes-forward-to--121637209.html

daniellevmt's picture
Joined: 07/25/06
Posts: 213

She should be proud of herself!

I'm not sure what I think should be done with the money. My gut tells me it should go to her after a reasonable amount of time has passed for it to be claimed by the rightful owner. It just doesn't seem fair at all for the city to hold on to it...

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

The law here says if it's not claimed within 90 days, it goes back to the person who turned it in. That's a good policy. Shame on Dallas for changing theirs.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I'm glad they changed their mind on the policy and are giving it to her.

Honestly, nothing else makes any sense.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

That's so wrong! What incentive do others have to do the "right" thing? If I found that kind of money, I think I would take out an ad on craigslist or something and make a reasonable attempt to find the owner for 90 days. Then keep it. Now, if the policy was to return it to the finder after 90 days, then I would turn it over to the police department.

I found a bunch of documents in the parking lot at the grocery store one day - birth certificate for the child, school records, original social security card (the adult's), bank PIN and statement. I took it to the sheriff's department and after 15 minutes of waiting, someone finally came to the front desk. Then when I tried to give it to the deputy, he said I needed to wait for the "right" person. I said no and left them on the counter. Made me wonder if I should have just mailed them to the address on the bank statement.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I have found wallets before and have alway done a search to see if the owner could be found and then taken it to the police dept. if we couldn't find the person. But that is wallets with ID, not just a bunch of cash which is much less traceable. I think that if money is turned in it should be held for the 90 days and then returned to the finder. If the administration (govt., police etc) try to keep it then it just seems like a cash grab to me. They didn't loose it or find it so why should they get it?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"I'm happy that she did what she did, but the way it ended? I wish she didn't find it in the first place, because it certainly didn't teach her the right thing," her father Ben Donaldson said.

I don't agree with what the father is saying here. She already knew what the right thing to do was, despite the outcome. IMO the 'right thing' and the subsequent outcome are exclusive of each other. Being ultimately awarded with that money doesn't make her decision any more right. She made the moral, right choice up front without knowing what would happen to that money - either being given to her or kept for the city's own use. I hope any future decision she makes in similar circumstances will be the same and that reaping rewards from her good deed wouldn't be a factor in her decision because of the way this turned out. You do something good because it's a good act in and of itself; not because you hope to gain in something in return.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I don't agree with what the father is saying here. She already knew what the right thing to do was, despite the outcome. IMO the 'right thing' and the subsequent outcome are exclusive of each other. Being ultimately awarded with that money doesn't make her decision any more right. She made the moral, right choice up front without knowing what would happen to that money - either being given to her or kept for the city's own use. I hope any future decision she makes in similar circumstances will be the same and that reaping rewards from her good deed wouldn't be a factor in her decision because of the way this turned out. You do something good because it's a good act in and of itself; not because you hope to gain in something in return.

I disagree. If I knew the city or whoever I turned it into was going to keep it, it would change my opinion of what the "right" thing is. I would still try to locate the owner, I just wouldn't involve the police.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

The city absolutely should not keep it. When I was 16, I found $250 cash on the floor at the grocery store I worked at. I turned it in to the manager in hopes that someone came back to claim it. But by the end of the night, no one did. I asked what they were going to do. They weren't going to do anything else. I think they were planning on just keeping it if unclaimed. I reported the findings to the police just in case the person who lost it went to multiple stores and not know exactly where the money was dropped. Well the cash went unclaimed. The police contacted me and the store and instructed the store to give it to me because I was the one who found it and reported it. It was a nice surprise that I didn't expect.