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Homeless Man Finds, Turns In Bag With $42,000 Inside

5:00 PM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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Michael Winter, USA TODAY

A homeless man in Boston who said "God has always very well looked after me" was honored Monday for returning a Chinese visitor's lost backpack that contained $2,400 in cash, nearly $40,000 in traveler's checks and passports.

Though he has been homeless for several years, Glen James said in a written statement, "Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a ... penny of the money I found," The Boston Globe reported. He flagged down a police officer Saturday after finding the bag at the South Bay Center in Dorchester.

"I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone - every pedestrian stranger - who has given me spare change. Thank you!" read the statement James handed out at police headquarters because "I don't talk too much because I stutter."

"It's just nice to have some money in one's pocket so that as a homeless man I don't feel absolutely broke all the time," he said.

Police Commissioner Edward Davis presented James with a special citation.

"He's an honest guy and realized the property belonged to someone else," Davis said.

James said he had worked at a courthouse for 13 years but lost his job and became homeless in 2005.

As word of the good deed spread, a Virginia man began an online campaign Monday to raise $50,000 to donate to James.

"I thought what he did was very honorable," Ethan Whittington, of Richmond, Va., told Boston Magazine.

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