An 8-year-old Thousand Oaks boy says he was never really tempted to keep the $2,800 contained in a wallet he found skateboarding, but he wasn’t about to argue with the $100 reward he received for his honesty.
Troy Hall, a personable third-grader at Westlake Hills Elementary School, said he was skateboarding in the 2800 block of Great Smokey Court, his street, last Sunday evening when he spotted the brown wallet near a truck.
Troy said that although there were “a couple of 20s” in the billfold, he was not tempted to keep the money. Instead, he said, he went home and showed the wallet to his parents, Cyndy and Eric Hall.
It was not until Monday that the Halls were able to reach the owner, Fred Schwartz, 41, through a calling card with his home telephone number on it. Schwartz, who recently moved into the neighborhood, visited the Halls to retrieve his wallet and to reward Troy with $100.
“I was like, ‘a hundred dollars?’ ” " Troy recalled at his home Friday. “I thought it was going to be like 10 bucks . . . my face changed from an unhappy point because I had to give the money back, to a happy point.”
Troy said he really wanted to give the money back “because I want to obey God and Jesus and I’m just happy I returned it.”
After receiving the reward, Troy said he bought a new pair of Rollerblades, knee and elbow pads and two Ninja Turtles. He said he plans to use what’s left of the money toward a family camping trip at Bishop this weekend.
“He’s very independent and he has his own ideas on things,” Troy’s mother said of her son. “He’s not a crowd-follower. He knows what’s right and wrong.” Cyndy Hall said she credits her family’s basic Christian values with Troy’s decision to return the lost wallet.
“We taught him to think of what the other person might be thinking . . . that there’s somebody else to consider besides yourself,” she said.
Troy said he would advise other kids to return anything that was not their own. “Instead of saying a kid learned a lesson, a kid taught a lesson, because I already know the lesson,” he said.