Homeless man finds $40,000, turns it over to cops

And now he’s being hailed as a hero.

Attention: preachers. Looking for a great story for next Sunday’s homily? Check out the readings and then try this on for size.


A homeless Boston man who found $40,000 in a backpack has been hailed a hero — after he turned it all over to police.

Glen James, who’s lived on the streets for eight years, said he didn’t consider keeping the haul for even a second after unearthing it at South Bay Mall on Saturday night.

“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny,” the Good Samaritan told a news conference Monday.

Proving that honesty is often the best policy, he’s now the subject of a $50,000 fundraising campaign — with residents already donating $6,000 cash in a bid to improve his situation.

James, who became homeless after losing his job as a Boston municipal court clerk in 2005, has also seen an upturn in the amount of street donations he receives.

From Boston magazine: 

According to police, on September 14, James found a black backpack that contained more than $40,000 in cash and traveler’s checks, along with a passport, while the South Bay Center in Dorchester. Once he notified authorities, officers took custody of the backpack and its contents. The owner of the bag was later located, and his property was returned. James was honored by police on Monday afternoon, and given a special citation by Police Commissioner Ed Davis. James received the citation for his “extraordinary show of character and honesty,” police said.

During the ceremony, James handed out a written statement, according to Boston.com, thanking everyone who has ever put money in his cup when panhandling. “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 read.

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!