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$890 anonymously returned to student, police say

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - Dec 13th, 2013 @ 5:42pm



SALT LAKE CITY — A student had his money returned Friday after being told by police there was nothing he could do to recover it.

An envelope containing $890 and a receipt from Western Union for Ahmed al-Sarraf, the student whose money was stolen, was turned into Smith's by an unknown man Friday, according to West Valley City police. Officers said the amount returned was almost the same dollar amount stolen Monday from the student.

"Despite the unfortunate circumstances, someone out there had the heart to return the stolen money to the rightful owner," said Deputy Chief Mike Powell.

Al-Sarraf went to the Smith's on 4065 S. Redwood Road to pick up money that his dad wired him for rent and food. The money was stolen after he forgot the envelope at the cash register. A person behind him in line picked up the envelope, police said.

"When Mr. al-Sarraf realized he did not have the envelope he returned to the Smith's and asked the cashier if she had seen his envelope," Powell said. "The cashier responded by telling him she did not know it was his and the man behind him in line had stated it was his."

Officers could see the man placing the envelope inside his jacket on the store's surveillance video, but weren't optimistic it could be recovered.

"There was no clear surveillance video that could help in identifying the man," Powell said. "Mr. al-Sarraff was devastated by the turn of events."

Smith's contacted the West Valley City Police Department after the money was returned and officers delivered the money to al-Sarraf at his home, he said.

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