Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


$10K in Wallet Left on Park Bench Returned to Owner Thanks to One Really Nice Person

Wallet image by Fedorov Oleksiy via Shutterstock
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The owner of BurgerFi, a farm-to-tray burger joint opening up in the former Laguna Beach spot that belonged to a KFC franchise, is looking to thank the mysterious good Samaritan who found the $10,000 he accidentally left behind on a park bench.

The restaurateur, a Floridian, mistakenly left his wallet on a bench at Main Beach, according to City News Service. He'd withdrawn the cash from a nearby bank, and had just sat down to drink some coffee and make some phone calls. When he got up to leave, he left the wallet--and the money--behind.

What could have been a major loss in the long process the restaurateur has been a part of since signing on to the space late last summer turned out to have a rare happy ending: Someone found the wallet and turned it in to the lifeguards, who then contacted the police.

Authorities say they located the man's Florida driver's license in the wallet, and did a search for the owner. They found an Orange County phone number, and reached out to him immediately.

Support for LAist comes from

The restaurant--and wallet--owner, who says he was "shocked" the money was still in there, was hoping to thank his good Samaritan, but police say they don't know his identity.

For burger lovers, it's more good news: Last we heard, BurgerFi was set to open in June. The owner told the OC Register his inspiration was "affordable, quality burgers." Though he first planned to operate the business as Urbun, he opted to follow in his father's footsteps and use the BurgerFi name (his dad owns the four extant Florida BurgerFi locations). At BurgerFi in Laguna Beach, the restaurant will "include local ingredients, California craft beers and Mexican and Asian-inspired toppings"

“I really wanted to make the restaurant a Laguna Beach product…with everything tied to the community,” he said.

Maybe if the really nice person who returned the wallet came forward there might be a "burgers for life!" reward.