It seems relatively fair to say that most people would consider it their lucky day to unexpectedly happen across a few extra dollars. One might call to mind the adage, finders keepers, losers weepers, and be on his or her way.
This past September, however, 5-year-old Zoe Berrett, a Delmar resident, took the selfless route while on a walk with her mother, Caroline. On their way to the playground at the Bethlehem Town Hall, Zoe stumbled upon $16 amid the leaves.
"I was at the Four Corners with mommy, we were taking a walk to the playground," Zoe said shyly. "I thought someone dropped the money."
With the guidance of her mother, Zoe, a gymnastics buff with a hand-stand that would make Nadia Comaneci green with envy, abandoned her trip to the monkey bars, heading instead to the police station so the money might be claimed.
"We are very proud of Zoe," said Caroline Barrett. "She is honest and has always told the truth."
At the police station, Zoe met Officer Dave Harrington, who recalled that she was adamant about bringing the money in.
"She didn't think twice about returning it to the police," Harrington said. "Zoe was concerned that someone had lost it and wanted to get it back to them."
Lost items are frequently brought to the Bethlehem police station, the most common of which are keys, wallets and cellular phones. Harrington explained that public notifications are published in local papers, and inquires about missing belongings should be directed to the Bethlehem Police Department.
Harrington said, the standard waiting period for holding an amount of money less than $100 is 90 days, which, if you ask Zoe, can feel like an eternity.
"It took a long time to get them [the money] back," Zoe explained.
Her good deed and subsequent patience were rewarded when Harrington delivered the $16 to her home at the end of the requisite waiting period in December.