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Store bagger’s honesty is a ‘godsend,’ woman says
KINGSTON — When Spencer Stokes walked outside the Kingston Albertsons Aug. 30 he noticed a misplaced shopping cart near the front doors. The 19-year-old courtesy clerk never expected the simple act of moving the cart to its proper place would affect someone’s lives.
In moving the cart, Stokes found an envelope containing $2,100 and a blank bank check.
His next move was not difficult to determine.
“It was just like, ‘Ahhh, someone left this, I need to turn it in,’ ” Stokes said. “I didn’t really think about it.”
So Stokes, a 2011 Kingston High School graduate, returned the money and check to Kitsap Credit Union, inside Albertsons.
Turns out, the money belonged to the Petes of Suquamish. It was all their money for the month — bills, food, etc.
“It was just a godsend,” said the woman who identified herself as the one who withdrew the money. The woman, 70, would not give her first name, but said her partner, Albert “Buzz” Pete, 77, is well known in that Albertsons location.
The two had withdrawn the money from a retirement account. The woman was in somewhat of a rush, she said, as Buzz had been waiting in the car.Arriving home, the couple found the money was missing.
“You can just imagine,” the woman said. “Your whole month’s money gone.”
Racing back to Albertsons, the woman found the money had already been turned back in to the bank.
“It was exceptionally fine of that young man to turn that money in,” she said. “I’m sure the average person would walk off with it.”
But maybe the people working at the Kingston Albertsons aren’t average.
Store director Randy Ackerman would expect anyone working in the store to have done the same as Stokes, he said. In hiring, those working at the store were considered for characteristics that reflect a positive culture. Being a store for a small community, seeing the same people consistently, backs up that need.
“It’s amazing,” Ackerman said of Stokes returning the money.
Stokes, who wasn't immediately available to discuss the find because of a brother's wedding, is not the first in his family to work at the store. His older brothers preceded him.
“Whatever their parents did, they did a great job with those kids,” Ackerman said of the Stokes brothers. Because of store policy, Stokes could not accept a $50 reward for returning the money, the unidentified woman said. She did hear he was recognized with a free lunch and a positive note in his employee file — if he wanted a reward, he would have to take it off the clock, she said.
And, while Spencer Stokes’ act may have been the only choice for him, it will be remembered. “It saved our bacon,” the woman said. “It’s rare when you find anyone that honest. He’s an exceptional young man in this day and age.”