Boys return wallet with $500 to Arlington man: 'It wasn’t anyone’s except for his'

ARLINGTON, Wash. --  A wallet with $500 in it is back with its rightful owner in Snohomish County. Two boys stumbled upon the wallet while walking through a gas station parking lot in Arlington.

Finders keepers isn’t a phrase 12-year-old David Gray and  11-year-old Case Baker are familiar with.

“My mom always tells me to not steal anything.”

They were walking by a gas station parking lot, “We thought to ourselves what should we do?”

Stumbling upon a wallet, a wallet a lot of kids would probably struggle returning, “I was like 'oh my god, look at all that money.'”

And keeping it? That was never an option.

“It wasn’t anyone’s except for his.”

Scott Ames’ wallet is full of memories.

“My driver's license and insurance cards and credit cards and picture of my mother—who is passed away—so there are some meaningful things in there.”

Things that aren’t easily replaced, and cash, more than what most people carry around.

“I normally don’t carry $495 and those boys when they turned it in, it still had $495 in it.”

Scott says the wallet fell out of his pocket when he was getting in his car and he pulled his phone out so he wouldn’t sit on it. When he got his wallet back, he was surprised.

“I felt like a little kid! I had a little ‘oh you’re kidding me;’ we have your wallet here at the Arlington police station.”

The timing for Scott was even more important than anything in the wallet.

“It just came at a moment in my life where, an act of kindness like that, a random act of kindness like that really touched me.”

Prior to meeting with us, Scott was at divorce court; his marriage is ending, and his house is up for sale.

“I’ve been in a really hard place in my life.”

He wanted to be sure the boys were rewarded for the good deed, “Sometimes you can get really cynical. It brought back my belief there are more good people than bad people, so thank you for doing that.”

So the duo ended up with some cash after all.

"He gave me and Case $100 to split. ”

And they earned it.

“We did the right thing to help someone who was going through a hard time.”

Ames says his faith in the younger generation is restored.

“It was just really refreshing that a stranger, particularly at this moment in my life, did something like that, and a 12 year old.”