4:00 PM EST, November 11, 2011
We left a wallet on a New York City park bench to see just how honest people really are.
Inside the wallet was more than $100 and business cards with the name and phone number of the wallet's owner prominently displayed.
Cameras were rolling the entire time as we sat in a minivan parked nearby.
It didn't take long before some tourists from Germany found our wallet. They looked around for the owner. And then they did the next best thing. They flagged down the police.
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero asked, "What did you do next?"
"We called the policeman," said the tourists.
"What did the police say?" asked Guerrero.
"Nothing," replied the tourists.
Pretty honest people right? Well watch what happened when this guy discovers our wallet. He looks inside, finds our business card and dials the number.
The call went straight to our producer sitting with me in the van.
"Oh my god you're right. I did leave my wallet. Can you hang on a sec. I'm real close by," said our INSIDE EDITION producer.
"What made you do the right thing today?" asked Guerrero.
"Well I'd hate to lose my wallet and have somebody take off with it," said the man who found the wallet.
So far so good right? Well look what happened when these teens stroll by the park bench.
A young man in a blue hat is the first to spot the tempting target. He wasn't not sure what to do, but then snatched the wallet and walks off.
Guerrero caught up to him a few blocks away.
"I found it. Why was it there?" asked the teenager who picked up the wallet.
"We put it out to check people's honesty," said Guerrero.
He claimed he tossed the wallet, with $100 inside, right into the garbage.
"So our wallets in your pocket right?" asked Guerrero.
"No, its in the garbage back there," said the teen.
He swore up and down that he threw the wallet away, but we checked every trash can in the area and there's no sign of our wallet.
And some other students also deserve a failing grade. They picked up our wallet on the park steps outside New York's famed Lincoln Center.
Guerrero watched as one student took the cash out of the wallet and handed it over to his buddy.
"Why did you take the wallet?" asked Guerrero.
"Because it was money," said one teenager.
"Because there was money in it? You took the money out of the wallet," said Guerrero.
"Yes," admitted the teen.
"What would your mom say about this guys?" asked Guerrero.
"She wouldn't be happy. I don't know why I did this," he said.
This gentlemen also had sticky fingers. Guerrero watched from the minivan as he strolled by, wrapped the wallet in the newspaper and headed for the subway.
"Was that your wallet?" asked Guerrero.
"What wallet?" he asked.
"The wallet that you have right here in your hands wrapped up in the newspaper," said Guerrero.
He absolutely refused to hand it over
"You don't consider that stealing? It's right here," said Guerrero.
"I didn't steal anything," he insisted.
But when we opened the wallet, it was empty, over $100 gone!
But hands-down this fellow wins INSIDE EDITION's Good Samaritan award.
After finding our wallet, this older man walked from pay phone to pay phone trying to call our producer. Unable to get through he walked more than ten blocks to the address in the wallet, which happened to be our offices.
Guerrero said, "Sir we put the wallet there to see what people would do and guess what you passed our honesty test. You walked ten blocks to give our wallet back...Wait, wait..."
He didn't even want a reward. We actually had to force cash on him to pay for the cab fare back.
So what would you do?
"Next time you see a wallet what would you do?" Guerrero asked one of the teenagers who stole the cash.
"Return it," answered the teen.
Smart idea, because you never know if the I-SQUAD is watching.