When Clyde and Lesley Bevan were told the $6500 gold and diamond bracelet they had lost months ago had been found, they were delighted and grateful to the person who picked it up in a carpark.
Their happiness turned into incredulity when the finder told them he now owned the jewellery under a law that allows finders to keep unclaimed lost property after two months.
He said he would give Mr and Mrs Bevan the bracelet but only if they made a claim under their insurance policy and gave him half the payout.
The couple were surprised when they discovered the finder was a clergyman, the Rev. Terry McAuliffe, of St Paul’s Anglican Church in City Beach.
The Rev. McAuliffe, who said he was a former lawyer, explained he was simply offering to share his windfall with the Bevans.
“It would be nice to keep it but I felt it would be best to get it back to them,” he said. “They can get it back for 50 per cent.”
Ultimately, McAuliffe was overruled by his higher-ups, who made him give the bracelet back to the couple. They have apologized on his behalf.
[photo via the West Australian]