And a vacationing couple from Texas, who didn’t have so much as a quarter for a few hours Saturday, were delighted their money was in the custody of a pair who resisted temptation.
Chuck Schwall, 18, 1227 Adams Drive, was busily pumping gas Saturday morning at Crystal Hills Conoco, 141 Manitou Ave., in Manitou Springs, when he noticed a brown fabric purse sitting on the telephone booth near the sidewalk.
Things get left a the station regularly and are usually recovered in a few minutes, so Schwall did what he usually does, putting the purse on the station desk.
But when no one had come to claim it by lunchtime, Schwall and his friend and co-worker, Basil Badwan, 18, 431 N Walnut St., decided to look in the purse to see if there was identification in it. Lurking in the bottom of the purse was an envelope containing $2100.00 in $100, $50 and $20 bills in addition to money in the wallet and other valuables.
“I’ve never seen that much cash in one place before,” Schwall said. It was real tempting. That’s a lot of hours pumping gas. But I couldn’t walk away with someone’s vacation money in my pocket.”
The two decided that someone was in real trouble, so they called the Manitou Springs Police Department. Officer Paul Spencer arrived and after counting the money, he threw the purse in his patrol car trunk and locked it before dashing off to two more calls.
Awhile later, a station wagon with Texas license plates roared into the station and headed toward the phone booth. Schwall approached a frantic middle-aged woman and he asked if she had lost something. After determining that she was the owner of the purse, he assured her that all the money, plus medicine, a check book, credit cards and more were in the safe hands of the Manitou Springs Police Department.
The couple, who were apparently camping in the area, were waiting for Spencer when he returned with the purse. The couple returned to the station, mentioning that they didn’t even have money for a phone call before the purse was retrieved and gave Badwan $20, telling him to be sure and split it with his friend. “They left pretty happy,” he noted.