Chula Vista

Chula Vista Teen Praised for Returning Woman's Lost Purse

Friendly folks in Chula Vista pooled their money to reward a young man who returned a purse left behind in the parking lot of a grocery store

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He walked up to the door and hit the button on the Ring camera as three dogs barked at him from behind a gate. Just a few minutes before, Adrian Rodriquez found a purse in a Chula Vista Ralph’s parking lot.

“This is something that we really need. It’s good news, positive news,” smiled Melina Marquez after seeing the video.

Marquez’s former roommate Eliana Martin inexplicably left her purse in a shopping cart. Rodriquez found it, looked at her ID, and the recent Otay Ranch High School grad drove it to Marquez’s address.

“If someone found my stuff, I’d want them to bring it back to me,” said the quiet 17-year-old.

“It was nice of him that he drove all the way to my house to drop it off,” said Marquez.

However, neither Marquez nor the purse’s owner Martin were there. Rodriquez left it with another relative at the house. Martin hadn’t changed her address since moving to her own place.

“It was a surprise for me. Honestly? It was a surprise for me,” said Martin.

“I looked into the Ring camera, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid.’ I was like, ‘We need to find him and just give him a little piece of gratitude.’” recalled Marquez.

She posted the Ring video of Rodriquez on Facebook and the Chula Vista community quickly went to work.

“I woke up and I had a bunch of messages like, ‘Oh, is this you?’ It was weird,” Rodriquez smirked.

“Thank God, we found him,” said Marquez.

The ladies invited him to Marquez’s house so Martin could say thank you in person.

They also surprised Rodriquez with the results of an online fundraiser they created in his honor. The community donated more than $1,115 in less than a day.

“It feels good. I appreciate it. I really do, everything everybody’s doing,” said Rodriquez. “My mom always told me since I was little to always do the right thing when nobody’s around.”

“Every parent right now hopes that their children grow up to be just like this young gentleman,” concluded Marquez.

Rodriquez wasn’t sure what he’d do with the thank you gift. He mentioned getting gas for his car.

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