What's the upper limit when stealing becomes a sin?

Most religions frown upon stealing and yet it’s a common act.


You use a vending machine. You put in the exact amount for the item, but when the item is dispensed, some change falls into the change slot. Do you take it? It’s not yours.

Most people (including myself) do. Most people consider such a small amount not worth the effort to return or would likely be ridiculed if they did.

Example 2:

You are a cashier and have to count and balance your drawer at the end of your shift. While counting, you find that two $20 bills were stuck together. When you’re done counting, you are $20 over. Do you keep it or turn it in?

This has happened to me (I’ve been in and out of retail for over 20 years) and I put it in an envelope and put it aside to see if anyone claims it. If not, it ended up being used to buy lunch for everybody (or some such thing).

Example 3:

You find a wallet (or purse, etc) with money and other items, but no ID. Do you turn it in to the police? Would the amount make a difference?

Example 3a:

There is an ID, do you give yourself a “reward” and mail the wallet back? Or would you use part of the money to pay for the postage and send the rest back? Assume the owner lives out of town and/or you can’t find a phone number.

Is this a poll of sorts? I’m not sure people will feel comfortable announcing that no, they don’t take the change out of the machine, and they don’t re-use postage stamps that missed out on getting postmarked, and they always return wallets completely full, because they are brimming over with shining honesty.

Um, so, oh yeah, the question. I would say, go for the highest standard, and then you’ll never be able to reproach yourself. And you’ll be showing your kids a good example (should you have any, and should they be with you at the time that you get an opportunity to exemplify honesty, which they won’t). It’s probably better to kick yourself for giving back 50 cents and wasting the time than to kick yourself for pocketing $20. A little balancing out of the karma in your life, since we all hurt others all the time without even realizing it (collective ‘you’).

I have never found an extra $20 in the till, or any lost wallets in the street. I have had my wallet returned to me, though, and what a joyous relief it was.

It’s poll-like. It seems that people don’t like to have their beliefs challenged for something as “insignificant” as a quarter.

“It’s just a quarter, nobody’s gonna miss it.”
“That’s not the point.”
“This is bullshit. It’s not like I’m going to hell for stealing a quarter.”
“Thou shalt not steal doesn’t apply to small change?”
…and so forth.

I think the answer lies in the examples you’ve chosen.

I would suggest that the first two do not comprise stealing. Who is going to take the spare quarter? Is the person who realised they didn’t pick up their change likely to come back to get it? I think not.

As for the cashier question, who is going to keep the $20? It is unlikely that the proper owner (ie the person that mistakenly handed over $40 instead of $20) will know where it’s gone. It certainly doesn’t belong to the store anymore than it belongs to the cashier. Is it stealing in this case?

Examples 3 and 3a are a little different. The police are the means by which the wallet owner should contact when they’ve realised it’s missing. That’s a societal rule that we all know. If the ID is present, then there is no excuse for not returning it directly as a gesture of goodwill. Personally I would definitely not remove any money for that purpose. If it was going to cost me more than I could afford to post then I’d take it to the police and have them do the honours.

Also, for what it’s worth, I think these are moral, as opposed to religious, questions and are therefore conscience- rather than belief-based.

I keep it. The company owning the machine is too remote a concept for me having the feeling I’m stealing, it would be too much of a hassle to give ti back, and more importantly, these machines have stolen so much of my money that it would be a revenge. I ddin’t go after the company each time I put money in the machines and nothing was dispensed, either.

I turn it in. I’ve been an accountant, and develloped an indifference towards the company’s money, be it in the form of mere scripture, check or cash, and be it 5 cents or 100 millions dollars. It doesn’t even feel like real money to me. It’s figures on pieces of paper.

Yes, I turn it in to the police. By the way, this exact question, asked between colleagues is the thing which made me realize that people sort of live in different perceived worlds. In the following argument, it appeared that people turning it in thought that it was what most other people, barring some rare dishonest or heinous ones, would do the same, while people keeping it would assume the contrary, to the point of thinking that the former ones were lying or deluding themselves in thinking they would actually do this, and that anyway, if some “saint” was to actually turn in the wallet to the police, the police officers would keep the money.

The former ones were living in a world where honesty is the norm, while the others were living in a world where people take advantage of anything when they can get by with it, in this case. This argument was a complete eye-opener to me.

For this moment on, I discovered that it was generally true for many other things, and that the perception of the world we’re living in vary enormously from one individual to another (people generally projecting their own ways of thinking to other people, generally socializing with like-minded people,etc…) in a wide range of situations (it could as well apply to the way one perceive immigrants, to what you expect from your neighbors, to what is a typical teenager mindset…any kind of issues) , to the point that we could as well live in different worlds.
A very recent example of this on this board was reading yesterday in some thread about criminal punishment an exchange between two posters, one assuming that the wide majority of adults had commited some form of crime or misdemeanor, the other ( ** sam stone **, I believe ) assuming that none of the people he associates with would have commited such actions. The former poster then assuming that the only possible explanation would be that the second poster’s associates were just lying to him, and so on…
Same with immigration, in a recent argument. Some people aren’t heinous, they are really, truly convinced they’re dealing with “strange” people, behaving in unpredictable but generally negative or criminal ways, and threatening the environment they’re familiar with, disturbing their peace, etc… These people weren’t talking about the same reality at all than their opponents. Same with what is an average “way of life” (people for whom spending 5$ can be an issue? Apart from homeless, can this really exist? Or at the contrary is anybody owning a home theater filthy rich?), an usual sexual behavior (most men will cheat on their partner if given the chance?), everything… The interesting part being the assumption generally made about essentially everybody else (I’m ambitious and making a lot of money is important to me, and so are other people. They’re just as greedy as me, they just don’t want to admit to it / want to find an excuse for their failure at suceeding like I did).
I never forgot it since, and I must say that I find these wide difference in the perception of the world or the human nature completely fascinating. It’s like there are 6 billions different planet Earth.
Ok…I totally disgressed. but as I said, I find this so fascinating, and since it’s associated in my mind with this “what do you do with this found wallet?” question, I couldn’t help myself.

So, coming back to the OP (though thinking twice, what I just said isn’t irrelevant to the issue) :

I’ve always stamps in my own wallets, but anyway, using the money in the wallet to pay for the stamps wouldn’t feel right to me. Though of course, from an objective point of view, it would be perfectly justified to do so. And I probably would if stamps were, for some reason, costly items. I wouldn’t grant myself a “reward”, either.

By the way, I don’t think this question has much to do with “sin” or “being religious”. Much more with people mentality. Not only with honesty, but also with what money represents for them. I’m not greedy (and greediness or being interested in money is one of the things I really can’t bear), hence it’s unlikely that this money would representant a serius temptation for me at the first place (barring the case where I would be in some desperate situation, I assume). What I mean is that I wouldn’t have to go out of my way not to “sin” or to follow my morals in this case. I’m sure one could find other situations not involving money where it would be more difficult to me to act in the “morally correct” way.

This is an interesting thread you’ve started, and one that I feel I have much to contribute to (ie this is probably going to be a long post). First of all, though, I found your elaboration on the OP rather amusing; it reminded me of an episode from ‘The Simpsons’ (I don’t recall which one) in which everyone’s favourite Christian, Ned Flanders, recounted to his family over dinner one evening how he’d spent that day chasing some guy all over Springfield just to return a quarter that that individual had overpaid or somesuch.

Anyway, moving on to the OP, here are my comments on each of the scenarios you’ve mentioned.

  1. If a vending machine gave me change when I wasn’t expecting it, I’d be inclined to take it and consider it “payback” for all the times that that machine had probably gobbled up someone else’s money, and refused to dispense the goods paid for. I’m sure we’ve all had moments like that; I remember some years back trying to buy a packet of chips from a vending machine, and having the rotten thing not quite completely relinquish its hold on the item I was attempting to buy. Of course, I kicked and punched the loathsome metal monster - accompanying my violent actions with many colourful exclamations - but, naturally, designed as it no doubt was to withstand such abuse, it refused to give me what I’d paid for. Following some instructions posted on the machine about what to do in cases such as this, I rang the manufacturer (or distributor; I don’t remember which), told the guy on the other end of the line what had happened, had him say something along the lines of “Thanks for bringing that to our attention”, and that was it. Did I ever get my money back? No fucking way! Cunts! Isn’t it funny, though? When a machine malfunctions in a way that benefits us, we’re supposed to be shining examples of honesty, and do whatever needs to be done in order to remedy the situation (no matter how trifling the benefit to us (and, therefore, loss to the owner of the machine) actually was), yet when a machine malfunctions in a way that screws us, unless it screws us by a lot, we’re supposed to just shrug our shoulders, think, ‘Bad luck’, and be all stupidly philosophical about our misfortune. It’s like how people often dismiss complaints about the unfairness of life with some pat remark along the lines of “Life isn’t fair; deal with it”, yet would react with horror should anybody ever use their advice as a justification to be unfair to them!

  2. With regards to accidentally being overpaid by someone at the checkout counter, your approach sounds like a fairly sensible one. Yeah, put the extra money aside in case whoever accidentally gave it to you comes back for it, and then, if they haven’t returned during some “cooling off” period (you don’t want to be holding onto the thing for fifty fucking years in the wild hope that its rightful owner comes back for it decades later, after all), keep it and do what you will with it. Some sanctimonious types would say that your employer is entitled to it, or that you should give it to charity, but really, I don’t see why anyone would be any more entitled to it than you.

  3. With regards to the unidentified wallet, I’d turn it in to the police if I couldn’t find any ID in it. Over the years, I myself have occasionally found bits of money lying around the place (just individual notes), and have usually turned them in to the police. The owner is then given four weeks or so in which to come to the station, and claim their missing money, but in my experience, they never do (so I end up being able to keep it myself). The only times I haven’t turned them in have been when the notes in question have been really small denomination ones, and it’s pretty safe IMO to assume that those who lost them won’t be tearing the neighbourhood apart trying to find them. Nowadays, I probably wouldn’t bother turning in anything under ten dollars, or maybe even that.

The first time I can recall ever finding money was back in 1985 when I found a two-dollar note (I’m Australian and we had notes of that denomination in circulation back then; they’ve now been replaced by small gold coins) at a country football match. That time, though, I did something so unbelievably fucking stupid that just thinking about it now makes me want to hit myself. Fairly young at the time, I went up to a crowd of other kids and said, “I’ve found two dollars. Did anyone here lose it?” You can probably imagine what happened next. Everyone suddenly seemed to find themselves short of the amount in question, and in the end, I gave the thing to the guy who I figured was the most trustworthy (although, of course, he was probably just as full of shit about losing the money as everyone else was).

With regards to the identified wallet, I’d return it to its owners if they weren’t too far away; hand it in to the police if they were. One person I knew of, however, once found a purse or handbag with ID in it, and not only took all the money from it, but also accepted a reward from its owner when she returned the thing with everything else still in it. Did her conscience trouble her about this act? Of course not. On the contrary; she was quite proud of her deviousness. I’d imagine many other people would be similarly comfortable about pocketing a wallet or something like that given that, if they weren’t, the saying “Finders keepers, losers weepers” would probably never have been coined.

I must also respond to a few things in dangermom’s post on this matter. First of all, I think she’s being a little too scrupulous in saying that you should return even the tiniest amount of money that doesn’t belong to you. I mean, if I find something like a five or ten-cent piece (the two lowest denominations of coin we have here in Australia at present) on the ground, I’m not going to leave it there in the belief that it’s rightful owner is probably right then frantically searching for it; I’m going to pick it up and pocket it. To say that I have a moral obligation to leave it where it is or search tirelessly for the person who dropped it just defies common sense (as does a lot of idealistic morality IMO; that’s why I have little time for it; it’s so completely out-of-touch with anything even remotely approximating reality). Once, I remember doing some shopping for my mother and being five cents short when I got to the check-out. Naturally, the check-out chick wasn’t too bothered about it, and let me take all my groceries regardless, but when I got home and told my mother what had happened, she gave me the five cents I had been lacking, and made me go back to the shop and give it to the check-out chick. It was such a humiliating experience, particularly given that the check-out line was full of people when I went back to the shop and said, “Um, here’s your five cents.” Looking back on that incident, do I now feel a warm, fuzzy glow knowing that I did the “right” thing? Of course I don’t; I still feel like a bloody twat!

Your mentioning of karma also irked me. I must admit that, whenever I hear the word “karma” mentioned, I feel like throwing up, for the following reasons:

  1. IMO karma is nothing more than a nonsense (a piece of wishful thinking if you like) that will never have anything more than the odd piece of anecdotal evidence supporting it. To believe in it only leads to the age-old question of why bad things often happen to good people.

  2. Most people who talk so glibly about karma probably know nothing about any other aspect of the religion (ie Hinduism) from which this concept has so rudely been wrenched (and subsequently cheapened through rampant overuse).

  3. Karma raises many difficult philosophical questions given that for “bad karma” to work, it usually needs a complete arsehole to visit it upon the one deserving it eg a thief who suffers bad karma after having another thief steal from him. Is that arsehole rewarded (or, at the very least, allowed to go unpunished) for being an agent of bad karma, or is he in turn, punished by another act of bad karma committed by a third party, and so on? What’s to stop me from being a complete cunt to somebody else, and justifying it by saying, “He/she probably did something to deserve it. I’m just acting as an agent of karma”?

I’m not trying to insult you personally here, dangermom; as I said, I just really feel like hurling when I hear the word “karma” bandied about so flippantly.

Well, I was going to say a few more things here, but I’ve really tired myself out, so think I will save them for another post. Stay tuned!

Let’s clarify the question a little. The thread title makes it sound like there’s a monetary limit at which stealing becomes “sinful”—as though picking your pocket might or might not be a sin depending on how much money I happen to get.

But the examples given in the OP all suggest a different question: If you inadvertently get some money that belongs to someone else, should you keep it?

My answer to this question is: You should always return the full amount to its rightful owner, provided it’s worth the trouble to do so. If a cashier gives me too much change, or if the person in front of me drops some money out of their pocket, and I notice it right away, I’ll always give it back to them, no matter whether it’s five cents or five hundred dollars. It’s what an honest person would do.

But if I have to drive back to the store, or mail in a payment to the vending machine company, or chase a guy all over Springfield, the amount becomes relevant. For a tiny amount, it just isn’t worth the effort. And my rule of thumb for whether it’s worth the effort is, what if it were the other way around? What if I had been overcharged, or had lost some money: Would I take the trouble to drive back to the store or write letters or chase somebody down to get my money back?

Sigh. First off, I don’t remember saying that people should try to return nickels and dimes found on the ground. If I found small change on the ground, I might or might not pick it up. If it was a larger amount–several coins, perhaps–I might throw it into the next charity box I see. I’ve never found bills lying around, and doubt it will come up very often, but small amounts would go into the charity box, while larger amounts would go to the police.

Second, by ‘karma,’ I assumed that everyone would understand that I was not using the word in a religious sense, but as a short way to denote “the amount of general goodness or badness being disseminated around the world.” I suspect that everyone else did understand that. We all do some good things and bad things, we inflict pain on other people all the time, and so I think it’s good to try to spread some niceness around when I can. Especially when it’s surprising, 'cause that’s always fun.

The use of the word ‘karma’ isn’t awful; everyone understands what it means in a pop culture sense. I don’t go around castigating everyone on this board who takes God’s name in vain, even though I find it pretty offensive. Religious terms get taken into the lovely vast murky soup that is the English language, and they get used in ways that aren’t exact. So what? That’s English for you.

As far as I’m concerned, I do not think that I should get money that belongs to other people. If I know where the money should go, I’ll put it there. If the owner cannot be identified, then it should go to something that will benefit more people besides myself.

It’s times like this that it’s particularly good to be an Orthodox Jew. By tradition, the VERY FIRST piece of Talmud that a student learns relates to the disposition of found objects. The general rule is that anything that the owner is likely to have given up hope of finding can be kept by the finder. To address your cases:

  1. Whoever’s coin was left in the machine is unlikely to have even been aware of their loss, and when they discover it will most likely give up hope of ever finding it.

  2. It’s possible that someone will come back for the missing twenty, and if someone does accurately return to the store requesting it, it should be returned to them. But otherwise, the money belongs to the store owner. If the person who lost it ever returns, they can be repaid with a different twenty.

  3. Post signs indicating that the wallet was found; mention that the owner should be able to tell of an identifying mark/characteristic on the wallet or the exact amount in the wallet (if it’s an odd amount that can’t be easily guessed at random). If after a decent amount of time it goes unclaimed (Jewish law says after three pilgrimage holidays have passed, but obviously there are no such pilgrimages today), you keep it.

3a) You’re allowed to use his money to defray the cost of shippping. You’re not entitled to give yourself a “reward.”

There is no such thing as a sin, so the question is basically meaningless.

How insightful.

Anyway, as an atheist, I don’t use the word sin so much as a “bad thing to do”. Murder, rape, you know, all the big stuff.

I bring up money since so many people are obsessed by it. In the eyes of some, if a person has a lot of money, we should overlook flagrant personality flaws.

“That actor is a jerk.”
“Yeah, but he’s rich.”


The whole thing boils down to telling someone you have a belief system and then go against it whenever you feel like it.

I can see how life could easily imitate Rev. Lovejoy & Ned Flanders if you went too far worrying about such things.

Thanks to all who have responded so far.

Yes, but the phrase “likely to have given up hope of finding” is in the eye of the beholder.

Several years ago, when I lived in Manhattan, my partner came home, and realized that he had lost his expensive pair of gloves. He knew exactly where he had left them, several hours earlier. It was a well-traveled place, and I assured him that, by now, someone surely would have grabbed them up; I was convinced that he should “give up hope of finding” them. All night, my partner kept obsessing about his gloves, and I kept telling him to just accept the fact that they were gone forever. I even offered to buy him a new pair if he’d just stop talking about it.

He was still bothered by his loss in the morning, so just to humor him, I said, "all right, let’s go there and look for your gloves. I just wanted him to face the fact that his gloves were gone.

Well, we went to the exact spot he had been, and lo and behold there were his gloves. Thousands of people must have passed by that spot, and there were the gloves, one folded over the other.

On the way home, my partner found a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk. He mentioned something about “karma,” and just left it there.

Adding to what cmkeller said:

Judaism takes stealing VERY seriously. If I borrow my sister’s shirt without asking, that’s not allowed. It wasn’t mine to take, and so I’m stealing that use of her shirt. Unless you have blanket permission, you can’t take home office supplies or use a pen belonging to the guy in the next cubicle.
I’m not an expert in this type of law, but I can tell you that although there are some exceptions, there is no “minimum sin amount.” Stealing is stealing.

**You use a vending machine. You put in the exact amount for the item, but when the item is dispensed, some change falls into the change slot. Do you take it? It’s not yours. **
I’d either leave the money there, or take it, and give it to someone asking for money, or collecting for charity. I wouldn’t keep it.
You are a cashier and have to count and balance your drawer at the end of your shift. While counting, you find that two $20 bills were stuck together. When you’re done counting, you are $20 over. Do you keep it or turn it in?
I would either turn it in, or do as the OP suggests, with the proviso that everyone knows where the money comes from, and I don’t take the credit for being generous.
**You find a wallet (or purse, etc) with money and other items, but no ID. Do you turn it in to the police? Would the amount make a difference?

There is an ID, do you give yourself a “reward” and mail the wallet back? Or would you use part of the money to pay for the postage and send the rest back? Assume the owner lives out of town and/or you can’t find a phone number.**
In either case, I would turn it in to the police. I wouldn’t dream of taking anything out of the wallet. If the same thing happened to me, I would offer a reward to the person who turned it in, and be very offended if they had taken any money to pay for postage or anything else.

So I’m a really wonderful person, and wouldn’t dream of stealing anything, no matter how small, and I can congratulate myself on my moral rectitude. However, various items around my house originally came from my place of work, and I don’t give it a second thought. There are plenty of times when I pay for something to use at work, so it all works out in the end. In the past I have allowed myself to have money spent on me that I knew perfectly well came from a burgled electricity meter, and I’ve more than once availed myself of items that fell off the back of a truck.

I would not keep and spend on myself money that I knew belonged to someone else. I would not take from someone else without their knowledge something that I knew belonged to them. Other than that, my ethical and moral concerns about stealing are obviously somewhat hazy.

I leave it and hope the person who picks it up is short 15 cents for their Snickers

Turn it in. As an employee, it is my duty to take care of that money. And I certainly wouldn’t want to risk my job over $20.

Of course I do. Not so much for the money - for the other items. I’ve lost a wallet, it SUCKS, and it is certainly harmful to keep one.

I just send it back ,the same I’d hope someone would do for me.

Beyond religious ties, I believe in the quote attributed to Ghandi - “be the change you want to see in the world.”


Trust me, Judaism doesn’t leave anything to “the eye of the beholder.” Anything that has no identifying characteristics by which an owner might later identify them is considered abandoned. However, with such things as money in a wallet, or money lost in a store, the amount might be considered an identifying characteristic. What is or isn’t validly considered such an identifying characteristic is debated in the Talmud, tractate Bava Metzia, chapter 2.

Chaim Mattis Keller

I don’t claim that I always do the right thing, but I do try to.

Found money: Really found, like the twenty I found blowing down the street, one day, I keep. I make an honest effort to find the person, if I can, but if not, I keep it. Wrong change, I will return, even if it means returning it the next time I come to the store. (But I don’t make a special trip.)

An exception to the found money rule is at work. I have fifty clients who regularly loose small amounts of money. I am among the most likely ones to find it. So, I decided long ago that that required a special case for that type of found money. I made a bin with a slot on it. It says “Found Money” on it. I put the money in there, and when we have a bunch of it, we spend it on things for all the clients.

The wallet gets turned into the appropriate authority, intact, with cash. Not worth the angst.

I have three interesting thingies. I don’t exactly know what any of them are. I found each of them, in different times and places. I never could find out who’s they were. I still have them. I kind of like them, though. I can’t decide whether to feel guilty about those. It’s hard to say if they are worth anything, since I have no idea what they are. I have had one of them for about thirty years. I lost it once, but it was found by someone else, who asked if it was mine. That was a long explanation. The guy said I should keep it. I did.


It’s been awhile since I’ve found a $20 bill on the ground, but several times this year I’ve seen $1 bills on the ground. I don’t pick them up, both because if there IS someone looking for it, they will be most likely to find it in the same place they dropped it.

I also don’t pick it up because I am apprehensive of the possibility that the person WILL come back as I am picking it up and demand to know what I am doing with his money! However, my fear of that would be overcome if it were $20.

Now, if the sum were even greater than that, say, $200 or more, it would be the opposite case again, where I would be sure that the person would be very angry at me for taking off with the money, even if I intended to turn it in to authorities. So, I would probably only take something worth that much if I was absolutely sure no one could see me, and would probably keep it if it had no relevant information, after all, in the grand scheme of things, it is a net economic loss to go around and waste everyone’s time to look for the rightful owner, and it would probably languish in a police drawer for years (I didnt even think of the possibility that officers could take it :eek:, I guess I also assumed that they had bigger fish to fry than to risk their neck over something like that!)

OTOH, if a large sum of money DID have distinguishing information on it, I would either call that person and send it to them somehow or, if it appeared to be drug money, turn it into the police.

I hope it’s okay to introduce the ‘copyright’ thing here, as it seems to inspire great arguments everywhere else.

My sister has to be one of the most … how can I put his… sinless - yeah, I know that’s not correct but it kind of describes what I mean - people I know. She’s worked with street kids all over the world, she’s taking a low paid job because she wants to just help people, and she never spends on expensive things. She’s a really ‘nice’ person.

Tonight she asked me to copy a CD for her. It was an already copied CD that she got abroad from a host family in a very poor town, but it was a copy of a commercial CD.

I pointed out that this is technically illegal and stealing as the material is copyright. She just laughed and said that it’s only a CD and it’s not like she’s ripping them off.

She didn’t see it as stealing, or a sin, at all.

It seems that many people - even those who know all about copyright - will freely break such laws, as they don’t see it as being all that bad. Do sins depreciate with technology, or is the world at large just becoming far worse…

Personally, I don’t think that there’s an upper (or lower) limit. Theft is theft. Does it matter as much in such a case as above ? I really don’t know.

I don’t consider the amount important.

Unless, I know who put the change in the machine and can return it to them, I pocket it. If I put it back in the machine, the next customer may notice it and have to put in less money. Or they may not notice it, and the machine will simply spit it back out after they make their purchase.

So, I pocket it.

I put the $20 aside. If possible, I may attempt to figure out who actually left it. If I can’t figure it out, I give all the cash to the proper person explaining about the $20 in case that person comes back later.

If I found a wallet with money but no ID, I would turn the wallet in to the police. I would post signs in the neighborhood I found it in.

If I found a wallet with ID, I could almost certainly contact the person. If a web search does not turn up a phone number, I would send a letter explaining that I had found the wallet, giving my contact information, and asking them to verify details of name and such (I carry an expired state ID. Bars will still take it as proof of age. Airlines will still accept it as proof I am not a terrorist. But, it expired three years ago. And the adress listed on it is wrong. There are other things in my wallet with my correct adress. But if somebody only saw the expired ID and mailed my wallet to that adress, there’s no forwarding adress and the folks living in that house have no idea how to find me) to ensure that I am not sending the stuff to the wrong adress and folks who will happily keep it. Once they have verified that they are the owner, I would ask them whether they would prefer me to mail the stuff, pick it up themselves, drop it off somewhere etc.

I would not take a reward for myself, but depending on the circumstances and nature of the reward may accept one if offered.