McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 27, 2013

Restaurant employee returns $14,000 found in coat to Bartlesville senior

McALESTER — After having $14,000 in a coat pocket returned after leaving it at local restaurant, a Bartlesville senior citizen says he is overwhelmed with gratitude.

Jerry Allsup, 73, of Bartlesville said he and his wife Barbara went to McAlester to purchase a used car.

“When I arrived, it was not in the condition I hoped, so I elected to not buy the car,” Allsup said.

He said since he was in the area he and his wife decided to have lunch at Pete’s Place in Krebs.

“After a typically fabulous lunch there, we returned to Bartlesville the next morning,” Allsup said.

He didn’t realize he left the jacket at the restaurant until the next morning.

“I looked for my jacket and discovered it missing and realized I had probably left it at Pete's Place, although I wasn’t sure,” Allsup said.

He said the coat contained $14,000 in cash in $100 bill that he planned to use to purchase the car.

“I immediately called Pete's Place and spoke to the manager, a lovely lady named Kathy,” he said.

Kathy Prichard said she found the coat soon after Allsup left and she and her manager decided to put the coat away for safekeeping.

“I had no way to contact him and so we just hoped he would call us,” Prichard said.

The next morning when Allsup called he said Prichard asked few questions.

“She asked me some questions to verify that I was indeed the one who left the jacket, Allsup said.

“She acknowledged she had the jacket and it contained $14,000.”

Allsup said he made the long drive back to Pete’s place.

“About one and one half hours later, I was at Pete’s Place talking with Kathy and another from her staff,” Allsup said.

“She insisted that I count the money, which was all there.”

Allsup said he tried to give Prichard a reward but she refused.

“I then began to peel off a few of the $100 bills to give them a reward,” Allsup said.

“She quickly stopped me and very firmly stated that there was absolutely no way they would take any reward, and they were just glad all ended well.”

“ My eyes quickly teared up, my voice cracked, and I could only hug her to show my appreciation,” Allsup said.

“I am a senior citizen living on a fixed income, and that amount of money is very, very significant to me,” he said.

“As one who lived in McAlester during my grade and high school years, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for McAlester and the core values that still exist there and for Pete's Place who obviously have high values,” Allsup said.

“I told Kathy, that she had indeed set the bar very high for me to "pay it forward" and to be a blessing to others as the only way I could repay this debt I owed her.”

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jlelfore@mcalesternews.com.

 

 

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