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."