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In Good Facebook News, This Woman Got Her Wallet Back After 50 Years


Stealing personal information used to be - well, a lot more personal. Take Linda Rost of Minneapolis.

LINDA ROST: In 1969, I had to quit college, and I worked for Dayton's department stores and cosmetics.

SIMON: She came to work one day that February and put her purse under the counter.

ROST: Somebody dashed in and grabbed the billfold and dashed away. And I didn't know it until I was ready to leave when I picked up my purse, and it was light.

SIMON: Her wallet held her college ID card, family photos and a few buttons - a loss but not grand larceny.

ROST: I doubt if there was more than a couple dollars because I didn't have much.

SIMON: She reported the robbery, but it never became a "Law & Order" episode. She never got her wallet back. Years went by. Linda Rost worked in graphic design. She got married. She had children. She retired. Dayton's was bought by Macy's and closed last year. She more or less forgot about her wallet until about two weeks ago.

ROST: On Facebook Messenger, I get a little notice with a old picture of me, it looks like, with numbers on it. And it said, are you this Linda Rost? And I thought, is this a scam?

SIMON: But she looked more closely and recognized the photo of her 22-year-old self. Her wallet had been found. The old Dayton's site is being renovated, and a construction worker named Char Nelson was sweeping up some debris.

ROST: And she looked down and saw something shiny, which was the little snaps on the billfold.

SIMON: Working theory is that the cosmetics counter bandit had tossed the wallet, and it fell into the duct work of the store, where it collected dust since 1969, shortly after Richard Nixon became president, and Joe Namath and the New York Jets had just won the Super Bowl 49 years ago.

ROST: It's kind of like being discovered in an archaeological dig. (Laughter) That's how old it is.

SIMON: Linda Rost of Minneapolis, who's got her wallet back. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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