07/06/2012 09:35 am ET Updated Jul 07, 2012

Nick Miranda, Buffalo Man, Finds $1,500 In Savings Bonds, Tracks Down Owners

When Nick Miranda began clearing the clutter in the basement of his new home, he likely expected to clean cobwebs and dust, not come across a stack of savings bonds.

But when the 29-year-old pulled up the cover of an old ironing board Monday, that’s exactly what he found –- 15 $100 U.S. savings bonds purchased in 1984, the Buffalo News reports.

The Buffalo, N.Y., resident immediately set out to find the bonds' rightful owners by Googling the names listed on the envelope: Lucille Rinaldo and Michael Ortalano. After making about 50 phone calls, he learned that the pair, mother and son, had died, but he was able to return the bonds to another surviving son, Thomas Ortalano.

"He's a very, very honorable young man," Ortalano, 57, told the Buffalo News. "I won't ever forget him. Not because of the monetary value, just for the honesty of it, just for doing the right thing. Anyone else could have torn them up and thrown them out."

Miranda is just one a few recent "honest" finders who decided not to keep the goods they discovered.

When four Michigan teens stumbled upon a wallet containing $700 in June, they called the police and it was returned to its 18-year-old owner, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

"We decided if we'd lost our wallet, we would want somebody to return it," Kaylee Olson, 14, told the news outlet.

The youngsters, who admitted to feeling tempted to keep the loot, didn't go unrewarded, though. The grateful owner, who works at an ice cream shop, gave them each free ice cream.