July 4th identity scare - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

July 4th identity scare

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia veteran and assistant principal says with so many kids getting a bad wrap these days, there's one he's especially proud of.

Two years ago, Kono Smith's personal information was compromised after an identity scare with the Department of Veterans.

On July 4th he had another scare when he thought he would have to relive that same nightmare.

It was a simple mistake that once again put his personal information at risk.

"So I entered the car, never looking back on the top of the car for my wallet," said Kono Smith, Albany.

He forgot his wallet on top of the car and drove off.

"My driver's license, my VA identification, credit cards, was inside" said Smith.

The wallet fell off of the vehicle not too far from his house.

"On my way home I saw something laying down in the middle of the road so I stopped and looked at it and it was a wallet," said Charles Stern, Albany.

11-year old Stern had found the walled riding down home drive.

"So the first thing that went into my mind was who's wallet was this so I closed the wallet put it in my pocket and raced home," said Stern.

Smith didn't know it yet but when he got home there was a message saying his wallet was found.

"A couple of hours he called back and we went to take it back to him," said Stern.

"When you wake up to watch the morning news you see crimes that have been committed by young people," said Smith.

Charles Stern said it never even crossed his mind to take anything out of the wallet.

"It didn't cross my mind to take anything out of the wallet and I know that would be the wrong thing to do and my parents raised me to do the right thing," said Stern.

"If we want to see these kinds of acts repeated we as a community need to recognize and highlight young people when the do something positive," said Smith.

Smith says he's thrilled to have all of his information back where it belongs.

"It was found by the right person, a person with integrity and I really appreciate Mr. David Stern for raising such a fine young man," said Smith.

Smith hopes to give a special coin he got as a veteran to the 11-year-old who saved him from going through another headache.

Stern got a monetary gift for finding and returning the wallet.

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