What Happens to an Unattended Bag With Money Inside? Investigation Puts Honesty to the Test

An Inside Edition investigation tested what people would do if they happened to find a purse with no one around.

A shocking surveillance video highlights how vulnerable women’s purses can be. It shows a woman at a supermarket in Burbank, Calif., snatching a purse from an elderly woman on a motorized scooter. The victim had no idea what was going on as the thief gets away.

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Inside Edition's Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerreo carried out a test of her own, leaving a purse behind at various locations in Los Angeles. But it’s no ordinary purse because she placed a GPS tracking device inside it.

At the famous Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles, she left her purse next to a fountain. It didn’t get much attention until a security guard came along and walked off with the purse and took it to the lost and found.

“Got my purse back!" Guerrero said. "Now let's see if the money's in it. Yep! There it is!”

Then she left the purse on some steps near the Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A few minutes later, a guy snatches the wallet and takes off running. Guerrero tracked the GPS tracking device, which led her straight to… the GPS tracking device. He apparently dumped it and took off with the rest.

At a parking lot in Hollywood, she left her purse on the roof of her car.

Just a few minutes passed before two women walked by. They spent a few minutes deliberating. Then, they grabbed the purse and took off in their car. But Guerrero tracked them with the help of the GPS.

“We're directly behind the Honda Civic with the women who took my purse,” Guerrero said as Inside Edition followed them through the streets of Los Angeles.

The women tried to evade Inside Edition but got stuck in traffic, where Guerrero hopped out of her car and asked them about her purse.

“You guys grabbed the purse off the top of my car. Did you take the money out of it? Where is it?” Guerrero asked.

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Eventually, the girls returned the purse and the money to Guerrero. As for the tracking device, they must have spotted it because it had been dunked into a cup of soda. After cleaning it, they gave it back to Guerrero.

“What kind of experiment is this?” one of the women asked.

Guerrero responded: “We're doing an honesty test and you didn't pass it. You failed miserably, actually.”

The woman responded, “No, it’s not the right thing to do, but nobody’s perfect.”

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