‘I can’t believe this’: More than a dozen stolen wallets found 75 years later at high school in Illinois

CENTRALIA, Ill. — A plumber helping to convert an old high school into a church made a surprising discovery recently.

According to KSDK, he found 15 stolen wallets stashed behind a vent in the girl’s bathroom.

The news fascinated Pastor Seth Baltzell of City Hope Church.

“I think I’ve watched one too many episodes of CSI. The mystery, the intrigue of it all,” Pastor Baltzell told the TV outlet.

Based on the ID cards inside, they learned that the wallets had belonged to female students from the mid-1940s.

“[The] war is ending, so there are lots of things like pictures of soldiers,” he said.

However, any money that might’ve been in them was gone.

Pastor Baltzell wasn’t sure what to do with the wallets, so he turned to Facebook for help.

“Shared 1000 times, 2000, 3000. People are commenting. A lot of people have reached out and [some] relatives,” he told KSDK.

Thanks to social media, he was finally able to find one of the students, 89-year-old Betty June Sissom.

“This is exciting. I can’t believe after all of these years. It looks like it’s old,” Sissom said in an interview.

She told the TV station that she remembered the wallet and thought she had lost it.

“That’s me with a little boy by the name of Jimmy Kane and I had a crush on him,” she said while looking at a photo. “Oh my goodness, look at the boy’s pictures I have. They took all the money, huh?” Sissom said.

 

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