Woman recovers wallet lost 46 years ago in California

News

FILE – This June 10, 2015, file photo shows chip credit cards in Philadelphia. Consumers’ grasp of credit is the lowest it’s been in eight years, according to an annual survey by credit scoring company VantageScore and the Consumer Federation of America, a nonprofit association of consumer groups. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A woman from Ventura was reunited with a wallet she lost 46 years ago after an employee working on remodeling Southern California’s historic Majestic Ventura Theater discovered it inside a crawl space.

“I would have never imagined,” said Tom Stevens after locating the wallet among old candy bar wrappers, ticket stubs, and soda cans.

Stevens told the Ventura County Star he then went on social media to try to locate the owner based on clues in the wallet, including old photos, a Grateful Dead concert ticket from 1973, and a California driver’s license for Colleen Distin that expired in 1976. There was no money in the wallet.

“Does anyone know Colleen Distin?” he asked on the theater’s Facebook page. “While doing some maintenance we have found her wallet. There are a bunch of pictures of people, and they are super cool from that era also. Someone may want them. So if you are, or if you know Colleen, drop us a line and we will have it here for you!”

Stevens’ boss, Loanne Wullaert, suggested posting the information on social media.

“We’re at almost 1,000 shares, a ridiculous amount of comments and then it went to all these other sites,” Wullaert said Monday. “I think it’s cool that people care and are interested.”

Distin, who grew up in Ventura and remains a resident, said she heard from a lot of people online and received a call about the post on social media. She responded May 25, a couple hours after the posting, that the wallet was hers.

Distin on Friday went to pick up the red wallet, now brownish with age, and said it was like opening a “time capsule.”

Distin said she lost the wallet in 1975 when she was in her early 20s. She said her wallet must have fell through a hole in her purse. At the time, she said her wallet had a $200 check and family photos inside.

“I remember calling the next day when I realized it was gone. They said no one found it, but to call back, which I did. I had a little bit of money in it, but I needed it at the time,” Distin said. “I have no idea what photos are in there, or which concert ticket since I did go to many back then. Such a blast from the past, and a good one I must say.”

Distin said she was initially reluctant to talk publicly about her experience but she said there was such a positive response that she gave in.

“It says a lot about our society, that people are looking for a human story and something to feel good,” she said. “People need to see the gratitude. I think there’s so much other negative stuff that I think this is what touched people.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

July 23 2021 05:30 pm

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com