The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 17, 2012

Woman turns in lost bag with $11,000 inside

BEVERLY, Mass. — A woman shopping for handbags at a retail store came across a particularly attractive find: one that had more than $11,000 in cash inside.

To be exact: $11,340.

Cheryl Gavazzi said she was looking at sweaters when she spotted a Vera Bradley over-the-shoulder bag hanging from the rack. She assumed the bag was for sale and had been placed on the wrong rack.

“I liked it, actually. I was thinking of buying it,” she said. “I wanted to see the size of it, and there was a roll of money in there.”

Gavazzi said she dug deeper to see whose it was and found diapers, wipes and medical records belonging to young children — along with more cash. She thought about contacting store employees but figured it was more a matter for the police.

It turned out that the bag and its contents had been reported missing to Swampscott police by a man who said he had raised the money to help build a church in his native Guatemala, Beverly police officer Dave Costa said.

The man was contacted and provided police with receipts from fundraising efforts over the past year to back that story up.

Gavazzi, a bank analyst, said the man who lost the money contacted her Wednesday morning to thank her, and the two met where he gave her an unspecified cash reward.

“He was actually going to sell his car when he found out this money was lost,” Gavazzi said.

Gavazzi said the man told her his wife he had placed the bag on the rack while tending to their young children and forgot about it.

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Details for this story were provided by The Salem (Mass.) News.

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