Orange County

Man who lost family heirloom at Walmart 3 weeks ago gets it back after Channel 9 report

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Osceola County man who lost his late father’s wallet more than three weeks ago had the item returned to his home Wednesday, one day after a Channel 9 report.

Joe Lawrence told Channel 9 that he returned his shopping cart to a Walmart store in Lake Nona on Jan. 26 with the wallet still inside.

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The wallet contains a sheriff’s department badge belonging to Lawrence’s father, a Korean War veteran and a career law enforcement officer who died four years ago.

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He said the wallet and the badge were the only keepsakes that he inherited from his father.

Store surveillance footage showed a woman carrying the wallet.

Police said she looked through it while walking into the store before leaving the store with it in her purse.

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Lawrence said he thought there was a “thin chance” that he would ever see it again.

“But I thought, you know what, I do believe in God,” he said. “And if God wanted me to get this wallet back, then I would get the wallet back.”

Lawrence said a man traveled to his home Wednesday to drop off the wallet and badge.

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The man said he is the husband of the woman in the video.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Lawrence said. “I’m just elated.”

He said the wallet is missing about $2,000, but he is grateful to have the treasured item back.

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“I’m praising God,” Lawrence said. “Giving Him the thanks and Channel 9 News. I appreciate it.”

Investigators said the man who returned the wallet to Lawrence is cooperating with them.

Police said they are still trying to determine where the money is and if anyone will face charges.

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV in 2014.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

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