Lost wallet returned in time for holidays

PHILADELPHIA - December 16, 2011

He lost his wallet on a SEPTA bus Thursday, but had it back in his possession in just a few hours, thanks to the diligence and honesty of a pair of SEPTA employees.

Joseph Love is both happy and grateful, and admittedly a little surprised at the kindness of his fellow man.

It was about 7:30am Thursday. Love was on SEPTA's Route 32 bus on his way to work at the Construction Mall at 15th and Washington Ave.

A short time later he noticed he didn't have his wallet.

"Ten minutes later I was like, 'Where's my wallet?' I looked all over and I said to myself, 'Oh, man!' I usually keep it in a zipper pocket but I didn't that day. I was feeling panicky because I knew it was a million-in-one shot that I would get it back," Love told Action News.

Love was worried about a $500 money order, $140 in cash, and "$500 hidden at Macy's for my kids for Christmas."

Love was counting on that Macy's gift card for holiday gifts for 7-year-old Jacinta and Joseph and Dominic, ages 9 and 11.

In all, there was nearly $1200 he thought he probably lost.

"So I called SEPTA," said Love, "and they said, 'Call Wade.'"

Wade Gordon is a district clerk receiver for SEPTA. He immediately notified the driver of that route 32 bus, Bryan DeLoatch, who had already found the wallet.

And so Wade called Joseph with the news he thought he'd never hear.

"He said, 'I got your wallet!' I was, like, in shock," said Love. "I said, 'You sure you got my wallet?'"

"I had already spoken to Joseph several times," said Gordon. "We had spoken so much we were like friends on the phone."

Bryan, the bus driver, said he actually remembered Joseph was the man singing Christmas songs on his bus.

"When I saw his ID, I said, 'This is the man that was singing Frosty the Snowman,'" said Bryan. "This is going to make his holiday extra special."

And so it has. Joseph Love wasn't QUITE happy enough to sing for our camera. But he sure is singing the praises of SEPTA.

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