Silt Samaritans make Rifle woman’s day |

Silt Samaritans make Rifle woman’s day

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
John Colson/Post IndependentEduardo Ortega, 14, left, and Gilberto Ortega, 17, found a wallet containing hundreds of dollars, identification and other valuable documents, and turned it in to the New Castle library. Gilberto bought fishing gear with his share of the $100 reward.

SILT, Colorado – Two local teenagers made a Rifle woman very happy last weekend, when they found her wallet containing hundreds of dollars, all her identification and other valuable documents, and turned it in.

And what surprised Kaye Kuersten the most was the fact that the contents were all there when she got the wallet back.

“Now, how often does that happen?” she asked rhetorically while talking with a reporter on Tuesday. “You just don’t hear of stuff like that very often.”

Kuersten recalled that she was at a yard sale in Silt on June 20, where she bought a piece of furniture and set her wallet on top of her vehicle as she helped load it in, then drove off with the wallet still on top.

When she discovered her loss, she called the Silt police, and an officer retraced her steps but did not find the wallet.

Then, out of the blue, she got a call from the New Castle branch of the Garfield Public Library, saying two teenagers had just turned in a wallet containing her library card.

After retrieving her wallet and making the happy discovery that nothing was missing, she called the phone number given to her by the New Castle librarian and went to thank Gilberto Ortega, 17, and Eduardo Ortega, 14, who live in Silt.

“I was like, thank you, thank you, thank you,” Kuersten said enthusiastically, and then she gave them a reward.

“I gave them $100, which is a lot, but it’s nothing compared to what I could have lost,” she explained.

The boys told her they found it in the middle of Main Street in Silt, about six blocks from the yard sale.

Gilberto, who is in the 12th grade at Coal Ridge High School, said he decided to take the wallet to the library after searching for a clue as to its owner’s identity and finding the library card.

Turning it in was no big deal, he said, because, “I don’t like stealing things, or taking things that aren’t mine.” He said he had done a similar thing five years ago in Rifle.

Kuersten described Gilberto as “kind of shy” and said he looked down and seemed uncomfortable as she thanked him repeatedly, but that he looked up and thanked her when she handed him the $100 bill.

Asked what the episode taught him, Gilberto said, “It taught me that when you help someone, they might reward you. She gave me $100.”

He said he bought fishing gear with the reward, and explained that he is teaching himself to fish.

As for Kuersten, she is hoping that the example set by the Ortega boys will have a broader effect than just her happiness.

“Maybe other kids will think twice the next time they find a wallet,” she mused.

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