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Bay Area Couple Skips Valentine’s Plans To Find Owner Of Lost $11K

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Carlos and Barbara Landeros found a bag with more than $11,000 in cash near the Golden Gate Bridge on February 14, 2013. (CBS)

Carlos and Barbara Landeros found a bag with more than $11,000 in cash near the Golden Gate Bridge on February 14, 2013. (CBS)

Christin-Ayers_BIO-HEAD Christin Ayers
Christin Ayers is a general assignment reporter for KPIX 5 Eyewitness...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A Bay Area couple who found a bag with more than $10,000 in cash near the Golden Gate Bridge on Valentine’s Day dropped their plans as they searched for the rightful owner.

Last Thursday was supposed to be a romantic evening for Carlos and Barbara Landeros, who have been married for 30 years.

“Well my husband says today’s Valentine’s Day, let’s do something special,” Barbara told KPIX 5.

The couple made the drive from Vallejo to San Francisco that evening. On their way to dinner, they stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge to snap pictures alongside a gaggle of tourists.

“My husband and I spotted a black bag,” Barbara said.

When the crowds cleared, the bag remained.

“I told my husband, this bag is still here. What should we do? My husband said we’ll wait 45 minutes. Maybe the owner will come back,” Barbara said.

After waiting, no one came back. After a while, the Landeroses decided to take a peek inside and what they found wasn’t exactly pocket change. “So I started counting the money to see how much it was,” Barbara said.

“Altogether it was $11,062 in American money,” Carlos said.

The bag had no identification. Others might have considered the bag a gift, but not this couple.

“This money didn’t belong to us in the beginning, so the best thing is just turn it in,” Barbara said.

The couple ended up spending Valentine’s evening in one of the least romantic places possible, a San Francisco police station.

Instead of a quiet dinner, Barbara said, “My husband was parked at McDonald’s and we had nuggets.”

Their Valentine’s Day plans may have been ruined, but it was not in vain. Within days, a tourist from China named Mark Wang claimed the cash. He drove to Vallejo to leave a note on the Landeros’ door, thanking them for their honesty.

“I think it was meant for us. I think if it was somebody else, the money wouldn’t be turned in,” Barbara said.

Wang was scheduled to return to China on Wednesday. Before departing, he invited the couple to visit him in Beijing.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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