JCPenney Employee Checks Store Surveillance Footage To Return Lost $300 To Christmas Shopper

A grandmother shopping for her family’s Christmas presents was given the gift of the holiday spirit, in the form of a JCPenney employee who did a little detective work to return $300 she’d dropped at the store.

Carrie of Billings, Mont., was at JCPenney on Black Friday with an envelope full of cash, receipts, and a list of her grandchildren’s first names and sizes in her back pocket, reports the The Billings Gazette. She did some shopping and headed home — until she realized she’d dropped the envelope (she doesn’t carry a purse), still containing $300 after shopping, somewhere along the way.

She went back to the store, asked around and searched the parking lot for hours, but came up with nothing.

“You lose your Christmas money, no matter how much it is, and you’re just sick to your stomach,” she said. “I was just so down about it.”

Shortly after, an employee happened upon the envelope and turned it over to the loss prevention supervisor, Reggie. He checked the surveillance footage until he found where Carrie had dropped the envelope.

Although there was no identifying information in the envelope, he went ahead and did a little digging. The sticky note with kids’ sizes and first names had a Billings company logo at the top, so he first called there and read the names out to the person on the other end. When that failed, he emailed a photo of Carrie from the tapes — and the woman on the phone instantly recognized her and gave her contact info.

Carrie says she was shocked when Reggie called her to tell her he had her money.

“It just touches me, that they would pick one thing out of everything like that, a lost envelope, and take the time to track me down,” she said. “It’s not even about the money. It’s the fact that it happened the way it happened. Sometimes you just run into people that still have a heart and still have compassion. Call it the Christmas spirit or call it karma.”

*Thanks to Tracy for the tip!

Return of $300 helps restore Christmas spirit for Billings woman [The Billings Gazette]


Edit Your Comment

  1. mauispiderweb says:

    I love Christmas miracle stories like this :)

  2. Sean says:

    Wow, that is WAY above and beyond what most people would do. Big time kudos to the employee who found it and Reggie.

    • Don't Bother says:

      He should get a nice fat Christmas bonus.

      • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

        He’ll get a pink slip. This is WAY more effort than corporate wants him to make. He should have taken the envelope and stuffed it in a drawer, then gone back to harassing teenagers.

  3. Jane_Gage says:

    That cat is one hell of a genetic mistake.

  4. Coffee says:

    Stories like this are so nice…they help me forget that every single time I have ever lost my wallet, no one has stepped forward and returned it. They always secretly put it in the washing machine later when I do laundry, but that’s a gripe for another day.

  5. Cat says:

    I assume it would be easier to track someone down like this in Billings, Montana rather than say, Miami, where there are more than 3 people.

    /s (Insert obligatory Montana sheep joke here)

  6. pdxguy says:

    Way to go Reggie!! I also think part of the credit goes to the fact that in the smaller towns in America, especially but not exclusively the Midwest and Mountain West, people still look out for one another and tend to do the “right thing” still.

    • crackers says:

      I dunno‚ĶI live in the Boston area, and recently at the post office, I came across an older woman with clear dementia who was crying because she couldn’t find her wallet with her house keys. I helped her retrace her steps to the last few places she visited, and every single person we talked to knew her by name and joined the search. It was truly heartwarming! I think good people exist everywhere, and even in big cities you can build a small local community if you frequent the local shops.

  7. IphtashuFitz says:

    I hope Carrie contacts JC Penney corporate offices and lets them know how Reggie went above & beyond the call like that. He deserves some recognition from his employer for a job well done.

    • ixidor says:

      And, lets hope this does not cost him his job. you know, no good dead goes unpunished or something. or, some line about how he should have been on the floor looking for shoplifters and was not doing his job etc…

      • vastrightwing says:

        You sir beat me to the punch :O

        I expect to hear a story soon that the manager of that store fires the guy wasting time on such matters. I just hope grandma had a proper receipt at the door.

  8. teke367 says:

    Wow, above and beyond, and pretty clever too. I’m as impressed by the ingenuity to contact the company as I am the fact that they didn’t just hold the cash and wait for somebody to call.

  9. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    This is awesome! Good on everyone who helped

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Aw, that’s so nice…

    From now on, carry a purse, grandma.

    • RandomHookup says:

      I thought it was in the grandma code of conduct that they had to carry the biggest purse possible.

    • pop top says:

      Or she could carry a wallet?

    • Nunov Yerbizness says:

      My mother was just the same, wouldn’t carry a wallet or purse, claimed that carrying a purse made her more likely to be robbed or mugged.

      So she stuffed cash in her pocket or her sock, where it more often than not fell out.

      She lost more money without a purse than she’d ever have lost with one.

  11. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    Pretty amazing! Go Reggie!

  12. simonvii says:

    A guy offering free plumbing, employees going out of their way to help. You guys are full of positivity today!

  13. Conformist138 says:

    This actually makes me happy to work in security :)
    I like to think I’d do the same thing (playing detective is pretty fun and guards often have a lot of down time), but an anonymous $300 is tempting. Good for Reggie and the unnamed employee for being really good people.

  14. Velifer says:

    Let’s not forget that there’s another, sadder side to this story. The modern surveillance state prevented someone from finding a $300 windfall.

    /tinfoil asshat

  15. Ben says:

    “It’s the fact that it happened the way it happened. Sometimes you just run into people that still have a heart and still have compassion. Call it the Christmas spirit or call it karma.”

    Karma? Well, that’s pretty self-aggrandizing! “I’m such a good person, and that’s why someone did something nice for me!”

  16. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:


  17. Dallas_shopper says:

    I heard about this on NPR this morning. Great story.

  18. cheezfri says:

    Read a recent article on, “Things that make us happier than they should” (or something like that). And one of the items was good customer service. It’s too bad that good customer service is so rare that it has to be announced like the second coming.

  19. shthar says:

    But I dropped $600.

  20. Bibliophile4 says:

    Although I’m really glad for her and a little moved by this story, she should be more careful and carry a purse.