Newtown Grill Chef Gets Wallet Back 12 Years Later

A Media woman, who found a wallet 12 years ago, was able to return it to the owner recently.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–A wallet was returned to its rightful owner after having been lost and found more than 12 years ago.

Chetana Jois, of Media, found the wallet on the trolley traveling from Media to 69th Street more than 12 years ago.

Inside the wallet was $300 cash, along with a driver's license and personal photos.

In 2000, Jois said she was going through a tough time in her life both financially and personally and struggled with what to do with the wallet.

She had left a job she loved and was dealing with personal issues with her family and said she felt she had no one to turn to in helping her to decide what to do with the wallet.

"I really felt adrift," Jois said.

She said she was fearful of many things at the time and also wasn’t trusting of the police at the time, having heard of a few unrelated police incidents that concerned her.

"I was at a crossroads of fear," Jois said.

She ended up using the $300 she found in the wallet but made a promise to herself that she would replace it.

"There was no way I wasn’t going to return that wallet and the money," she said.

Jois was in need of the money at the time, having just left her job, and spent it on things like trolley fare not shopping trips or drugs or alcohol, she explained.

More than 12 years later, Jois has turned her life around and found a new church that she says gave her the ability to trust the people around her once again.

"I really re-built my life," she said.

Jois, who is now self-employed working as a support person for families, said she had put the wallet in her closet and forgotten about it until she saw an unrelated news story last Friday about a boy who found a wallet and returned it to the owner.

Seeing that story reminded Jois of the wallet she had found 12 years prior and she knew it was time to find its owner.

She contacted the and told Officer Fred Mason her story. Mason was able to track down the wallet’s owner immediately. Mason, along with the entire Upper Providence Police Department, was also able to restore Jois' trust in the police once again.

"I told him he really was my hero," she said. "I now have a positive experience with the police."

Jois said she was afraid the wallet’s owner would be angry with her for not returning the wallet sooner, but he was nowhere near angry.

The wallet’s owner, Badr Tanane, said he had completely forgotten about the wallet until the police contacted him on Saturday.

"They said, 'did you lose a wallet in 2000' and I said, 'Oh, yes, I did,'" Tanane said.

Tanane, who works as a chef at in Newtown Square, recalled losing the wallet so long ago and said he was upset at the time but he was mostly concerned with losing the family photos he had kept inside the wallet, not the money.

Tanane and Jois met at the Upper Providence Police station last Saturday and the wallet, along with the replaced $300 and the family photos, was returned.

Tanane, of Collingdale, said the money was returned to him at a perfect time. He said he needed to pay his cell phone bill and he owed his roomate money and he was running short. So the money couldn't have come at a better time.

"She gave me the money right on time," he said.

Tanane gave Jois a hug and thanked her, he said, he wasn't angry with her at all and told her to visit Newtown Grill and he would take care of her. 

"I know people go through difficult times sometimes," he said. "But it was meant to be. It was kind of like destiny or something."

Anthony Leone April 12, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Nice to see that there are still some honest people out there.
JDBroomall April 12, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Nice/Honest? She stole 300 dollars and a wallet from someone. You can dress up the story as much as you'd like, but she still committed a crime here.
MCMA April 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I found a wallet 2 months ago on the street, with photo id, $450 in cash, etc. I came home googled the name called the person and IMMEDIATELY returned the wallet to its rightful owner!!!! That is honest, and not that i couldn't use $450.00!!! She could have at least mailed the wallet back why did she have to keep his id's and photos for 12 yrs for what purpose???? Please there are so many other great people and great stories in this community to write about.
MerionManor April 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I agree, she's not a hero. The ending was the best it could have been after 12 years, the only other ending would be that she discarded the wallet altogether, so I feel good for the guy who did finally get his wallet back. Also, she did the right thing now and the rest is water under the bridge.
Chetana April 13, 2012 at 09:50 AM
I am so sorry! I usually do my very best to act very quickly about anything that could result in danger for anyone--I was anxious about seeking help in the area in which I was unfamiliar. 12 years ago I was not familiar with using the internet as it had not been a part of my worksite and did not think of it at all. I usually do my very best to act very quickly about anything that could result in danger for anyone--I was anxious about seeking help in the area in which I was unfamiliar. I genuinely did not go through the wallet and only saw what was immediately visible, and eventually I genuinely forgot. For me the it was about at least doing what I could despite that my flaws would be apparent, and I think that may be what the writer saw in the story as well.
Chetana April 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Especially in times of heightened stress or busyness of life many including myself then, did not realize the potential consequences for someone else or even oneself, of not turning in a lost item...I am so sorry for the inconvenience and the anxiety that gripped me in that unfamiliar location and situation and time period, and am grateful that it is not my normal experience or course of action.
MCMA April 13, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Chetana, I sincerely congratulate you on making good on this situation and glad that it was a happy ending for all.
Chetana April 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Thank you so much MCMA for your words of kindness...in the article I called the officer a hero who knew what to do right away and made several phone calls and also was very kind. In other times and places I know I have, and each of us probably have, acted with strength and expedience, but its very good to know we can turn to someone else to help us when we are unsure, scared, or distracted.
Jo-c May 22, 2012 at 04:09 AM
we still get some human's values n we better learn from this story and keep doing good things


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