MONEY

Cheryl Gavazzi, Massachusetts Woman, Returns $11,000 Found In Handbag

11/20/2012 10:21 am ET | Updated Nov 20, 2012

We all dream of finding large sums of cash, but for Cheryl Gavazzi, that dream quickly turned her into a nervous wreck.

Gavazzi of Beverly, Mass. was shopping at a local Marshalls last week when she spotted a Vera Bradley purse, CBS Boston reports. Thinking the bag was for sale, she took if off of the shelf and unzipped one of the pockets only to find a ball of cash totaling $11,000.

Gavazzi didn't think twice about what to do with the money. Rather than pocket the cash, she immediately decided to go to the police, according to CBS Boston.

“I ran to the car, threw it in the front seat and locked my doors, looking for drug dealers following me,” Gavazzi told the Boston Globe. “I’m a nervous wreck looking.”

It turns out the bag wasn't on sale at Marshalls at all, instead it was left there by someone for an unclear reason. Soon before Gavazzi returned the bag, its rightful owner filed a police report claiming that her purse had been stolen. The owner, who wanted to remain unidentified, told the authorities that the cash was intended to help build a church in Guatemala and was so grateful to be reunited with the bag that she gave Gavazzi a small reward.

Massachusetts seems to be the state of good deeds as of late. Recently at a used book-swap in Wellesley, a man discovered a book with $20,000 hidden in its pages. The man said he was trying to return the money to its rightful owner and would donate a portion of the money to charity if his search failed.

A manager at a Goodwill store in Texas recently found $3,000 stuck inside a pair of donated shoes. Pulling the pair off the racks, the manager put the shoes aside. Soon after, a woman came back to the store to claim them. It turns out, the woman's husband had donated the shoes without knowing that that she had stashed their life savings inside.

In October, a Las Vegas cab driver returned a laptop case filled with $221,510 that was left in his cab, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Last summer in Illinois, an unemployed man discovered $150,000 in a duffle bag stashed in his backyard. He spent $10 of the money on cigarettes and returned the rest to the police.

Where do the most honest Americans live? To find out, Honest Tea set up unattended beverage stands in cities across the country. The stands had boxes where people could slip a dollar bill into in exchange for a beverage. Chicago was deemed the most honest city after 99 percent of residents paid for their beverages. New York was deemed the least honest city -- only 86 percent paid.

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