Teen Returns Lost Wallet To Rightful Owner And Receives $1,115 Reward

A woman misplaced her purse outside a Ralph’s in Chula Vista, California, in June 2022, restoring humanity. Almost immediately afterward, the green bag appeared on her doorstep, having been rescued by a quiet teenager who was brought up to “do the right thing.” In the midst of high gas prices and protests, that young man proved that strangers are still kind. 

The purse was found in a shopping cart by the recent Otay Ranch High School graduate. After finding an ID, he drove to the address listed on the license. Eliana Martin, the purse owner, and Melina Marquez, the resident, were shocked by their unconventional delivery boy. 

In an interview with NBC 7, Marquez recalled, “I looked into the Ring camera and thought, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid.'” He had driven all the way to his house just to drop it off. Marquez felt compelled to reward him somehow. 

“I thought, ‘We need to find him and show him gratitude.'”

As for Adrian Rodriquez, he did not think much of his actions. Rodriquez said, “If someone finds my stuff, I’d like them to bring it back to me.” Rodriquez left the purse with relatives at the house, thinking his side quest was over. Rodriquez’s story and the video of him standing on Marquez’s doorstep soon went viral. 

See the full video at the end of this article.

As Rodriquez described the reaction from his friends, “I woke up to a bunch of messages like, ‘Oh, is this you?'” Marquez also requested that the teenager return to her house so that she could properly thank him. It shocked both women that the purse had been recovered and returned. “It was a surprise for me. Honestly? It was a surprise for me,” Martin said of the unexpected reappearance of her bag. 

After sharing the Ring doorbell video showing Rodriquez returning the purse, the Chula Vista Facebook community turned its attention to finding him. “Thank God, we found him,” Marquez said. 

In return for Rodriquez, she and Martin started an overnight fundraiser. 

Upon his return to the community, the teenager had received more than $1,115 in donations. Rodriquez expressed his gratitude for the money and thanked his mother for inspiring his actions and shaping him into the young man he is today. The teen mentioned gas money when asked what he would do with the money. “My mom always told me to do the right thing when no one is around.” 

His sentiment was echoed by Martinez, who added, “Every parent right now hopes that their children grow up like this young gentleman.” She also touched on how welcome the good news was in these trying times, saying, “This is something we really need. We have good news, good news.” While we hope that no more purses disappear, there might just be a bright future ahead, given there are kind strangers like Rodriquez out there. 

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