‘Old and not ashamed’: Outrage as elderly woman steals money from schoolgirl

‘Old and not ashamed’: Outrage as elderly woman steals money from schoolgirl

By Anita Goswami

GUANGZHOU, CHINA: The question of whether you should be allowed to keep the money you find on the street may present an ethical conundrum for some. However, it became a big issue this week after a video of an awkward argument involving a schoolgirl went viral.

The incident took place in Guangzhou, China, after the teenage student dropped 200 Yuan ($45) on the ground, which was subsequently scooped up by an older woman. The student wanted her money back after realizing what had happened, but the woman refused, according to Chinese outlet Phoenix TV via Yahoo News.

Finders keepers

“Whoever picks up the money should own it,” the woman allegedly told the girl. The girl broke down in tears and cried out to the woman, pleading with her. She explained that she lives with her grandparents and the money was her whole weekly living allowance. The money finally got returned after the girl’s friends and other bystanders argued with the woman.

‘Old and not ashamed’

Since then, footage of the incident has gone viral online, garnering millions of views on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Many online were mainly outraged by the woman’s conduct and denounced her behavior. “If you don’t give it back that’s robbery,” one top-rating comment read. “Old and not ashamed,” another said. “How bad can someone be to do something like this,” one user wrote. Others noted that the woman was required by Chinese law to give the girl’s money back. “You don’t need to kneel down, just call the police,” one person wrote.

A few, though, questioned the backlash and questioned how the woman could be sure the money belonged to the girl. Someone questioned if it was really “unreasonable” for the woman to demand the money. Other people also criticized the girl for crying, claiming that it would help her efforts to get the money back.

The law requires us to return the money

Every US state has laws requiring the return of money or property if it is possible to identify the owner. As a result, if you find a wallet full of cash and an ID, you cannot legally pocket the cash because the owner is recognizable.


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