DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Tammy Joe Evega, a cashier at Inter Island Hotel Furniture, pointed to the area yesterday where she found some of the checks worth $50,000 as she was sweeping the parking lot area near the store's entrance on Tuesday. She turned them in to the American Savings Bank next door, where the money was reunited with its owner, a relieved bank customer.
Honest worker returns $50,000 in checks
Tammy Jo Avega found an unusual piece of paper while sweeping up the parking lot Tuesday at Inter Island Hotel Furniture on Dillingham Boulevard in Kapalama: a $49,000 check, endorsed and apparently ready for deposit.
She said her first thought was, "Somebody's going to be in a lot of trouble."
Then she found two other checks, also endorsed, and a deposit slip. In all there were $50,000 in checks, Avega said.
Avega showed them to her boss and then took them to American Savings next door, where she saw an elderly woman "all stressing out," frantically placing phone calls.
When Avega started telling the bank manager about the found checks, the customer overheard and came over, claiming, "They're mine! They're mine!"
The customer thanked her perfunctorily but "said she didn't feel too good and needed to sit down," Avega said.
Avega went back to work after turning over the checks. "It was a good-karma thing. ... I've been there. I lost a wallet on the bus recently. I got the license and wallet back, but they took all my money. I honestly believe in what goes around comes around," she said.
Company owner Russell Wong, whose manager saw the checks found by Avega, said he is proud of his employee and called her a "good Samaritan."