A humble homeless man who returned a backpack full of cash and traveler’s checks to police said he felt “very, very good” to do it and used a ceremony honoring him at police headquarters to thank all the people who have ever given him money on the street.
Glen James said, “I don’t talk too much because I stutter.” But he handed out a handwritten statement in which he said, “Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a ... penny of the money I found. I am extremely religious — God has always very well looked after me.”
The statement also said, “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone — every pedestrian stranger — who has given me spare change. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said that James’s actions were “really a remarkable tribute to him and his honesty.”
“He’s an honest guy and realized the property belonged to someone else,” Davis said.
The middle-aged man, balding, bespectacled, and thin, appeared friendly but shy and slightly overwhelmed by the attention from the media drawn to a feel-good story.
On his way out of the building after the news conference, the police department clerks gave him an ovation.
James said he had been homeless for several years. He chuckled as he said it felt good to return the money.
James’s statement also gave mayoral candidate Charles Yancey an endorsement, saying Yancey had put “a total of seven dollars into my panhandling cup. I fully endorse Charles YANCEY for Mayor of Boston. He cares!!!” the statement said.
James found the backpack Saturday at the South Bay Center in Dorchester, a sprawling suburban-style shopping complex in Boston visible from the Southeast Expressway.
After making his discovery, James flagged down a passing Boston police officer and handed over the backpack. The backpack contained $2,400 in cash, $39,500 in traveler’s checks, passports, and various personal papers, police said.Peter Schworm can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.