Stolen Wallet Recovered After 22 Years
March 15, 2007
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Army News Service, March 15, 2007) - In what could be a scene out of "Cold Case," a retired Fort Jackson nurse has her wallet back - 22 years after reporting it stolen.
Annie Kelley couldn't believe it when the military police desk called her March 3 and told her they had a wallet she had reported stolen while attending a housewarming party on post in 1985.
"When they called I asked them, 'Are you sure it's mine' It can't be mine, it's been missing more than 20 years,'" she said. "But then he started reading off my Social Security number and some other personal information and I knew it was mine."
The maroon wallet was recovered by a fisherman at Twin Lakes. The unidentified angler flagged down a passing patrol car and turned the wallet over to Sgt. Jeffery W. Williams. Williams said when he saw the condition of the wallet and heard the fisherman's story he became concerned.
"At first I was worried that we might have a body in the lake," he said.
Williams took the wallet back to the dispatch desk. From the identification still inside, including Kelley's Department of the Army civilian identification card, he and the desk sergeant were able to track her down through the vehicle registration system.
"I was relieved when we were able to get hold of her," Williams said. Kelley picked up the wallet the next day and started to go through it.
"Even though it was all soggy from being in the lake, I was amazed that some things were still intact," she said. "My civilian ID card from Fort Jackson held up very well.
"There were some credit cards from local stores that are no longer in business and photos of my son and daughter-in-law," she said.
Kelley said she would like to thank the fisherman who found the wallet and turned it over to the MPs.
"It speaks highly of the character of that person," she said. "To bring what looked like nothing to the MPs shows that he or she is very honorable and noble. Nowadays most people don't do things like that - most people would have just thrown it back into the lake."
(Mike A. Glasch writes for the Fort Jackson "Leader.")