70-year-old Madison man, cops return young tourist's purse full of cash

MADISON, Wis. - A 70-year-old man and Madison officers helped reunite a young tourist with her long-saved spending money in it this weekend, according to a report. 

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said a 12-year-old girl from Mississippi was in Madison Sunday at about 1 p.m. when she lost a red purse that all her cash inside in the 300 block of State Street. 

Police said that about an hour later, Madison resident John Devereux was walking on North Henry Street, near the Triangle Market, when he found a purse. There was no identification in it, but there was more than $120 cash. Police said Devereux called police and turned the purse over to an officer. 

A couple of hours later, the girl's father flagged down another downtown officer. The dad explained the loss and the impact it was having on his daughter. The officer told him the purse he described was in another officer's squad.

"One officer called the other, and soon, the purse was back where it belonged, in the hands of a young tourist," DeSpain said. 

Devereux said he didn't think there was anything special about what he did, and that he was just following the golden rule.

"I always try to act in such a way that if everybody acted that way you'd have the world you want to live in," Devereux said.

DeSpain said the girl emailed a thank-you note to the officers: 

"I still can't believe not only someone turned it in, but you brought it to my dad!" the girl wrote. "Words cannot express how grateful I am. The Madison Police Department is the finest in the country and my new favorite!"

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