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Lost wallet found, returned by recycling worker

Posted at 11:39 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 23:55:40-04

CARMEL, Ind. -- A Carmel man says he can't believe his missing wallet was returned – plucked from the garbage like a needle in a haystack.

Matt Whistler searched high and low through his Carmel home, but couldn't find his wallet. He didn’t know then it somehow ended up with the recycling, which then went to the curb and ultimately ended up 45 minutes away at Ray's Recycling on the southwest side of Indianapolis.

The wallet went down the plant's conveyor belt and was missed by 35 sorters, until it reached Jeremy Gamble at the end of the line.

"In the end we all got two consciences," Gamble said. "We got a good conscience and a bad conscience."

Gamble says he hasn't always made the right choices. He's spent time in jail, and is currently homeless, sleeping on his brother's couch.

Gamble, hoping to turn his life around for the better, got a job at Ray's just this week. It was his second day on the job when he faced the temptation of Whistler's wallet.

Besides credit cards and identification, the wallet also contained $700 in cash, Whistler said.

"I thought about it," Gamble said. "I got kids. I'm pretty sure that individual who lost his wallet got a family and I figured I'd do the right thing."

The wallet was returned without a dollar missing.

Whistler said he got the call while in the process of freezing all of his accounts.

"It was touching," Whistler said. "It gave me goosebumps. It's one of those feel-good stories that you don't expect to actually happen anymore with everything going on in the world. There actually are some good people still out there that aren't just out for themselves."

When Whistler went to pick up his wallet, Gamble wasn't there – but Whistler did leave the Good Samaritan $100 for his honesty.