teen boy wearing purple hoodie with hood placed over half of face
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 3, 2024 ·  3 min read

Teen Returns Woman’s Lost Purse And Gets Over $18,000 in Reward

The current world has made us believe that humanity is long dead. But, as Adrian Rodriguez of San Diego has shown, that doesn’t seem to be the case. This 17-year-old proved that one could still be a good samaritan, by returning a handbag he had found. The teenager was simply doing his own shopping at a grocery store when he saw the bag. Although he had no expectations of receiving a reward for that- netizens believe he should be given one. Now, most of us would have simply deposited the bag at the register and forgotten all about it. Rodriguez, on the other hand, made sure that the bag was delivered right at the front door of the woman. 

Teen Returns Lost Handbag in California, Gets a $17,000 Reward

The teenager had not planned on being popular because of this, but let’s be honest- why shouldn’t he be? While he wanted to be anonymous, the security camera footage at the woman’s home helped track him down. The owner of the handbag, Eliana Martin, wasn’t at home, so her roommates received it. It was then that one of her roommates, Melina Marquez, decided to check who it was. “I looked into the Ring camera, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid. We need to find him and just give him a little piece of gratitude.’”

Adrian Rodriquez returning a purse, seen on a Ring doorbell cam
Melina Marquez | GoFundMe

The 17-year-old had his reasons for returning the bag, and according to him, his motivation was not the prospect of a reward. “If someone found my stuff, I’d want them to bring it back to me.” After the roommates checked the camera, it wasn’t very difficult to identify the teenager. Rodriguez mentions, “I woke up and I had a bunch of messages like, ‘Oh, is this you?’ It was weird.

Despite not seeking a reward, he definitely got one. The ladies- Martin, Marquez, and their friends, invited the teen to their house in order to thank him. And, they also surprised him with a GoFundMe campaign which raised $1,115 in less than a day. Rodriguez stated, “It feels good. I appreciate it. I really do, everything everybody’s doing. My mom always told me since I was little to always do the right thing when nobody’s around.

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The GoFundMe was way more successful than they thought it would be. Since it was created it has raised over $18,000. For a teenager, this is definitely a huge sum, and it was a stunning experience for Rodriguez. Marquez concluded, “Every parent now hopes that their children grow up to be just like this young gentleman.” According to the latest reports, Rodriguez was quite flabbergasted at this huge reward- and didn’t know what to spend it on!


Adrian Rodriquez
Melina Marquez | GoFundMe

Melina Marquez, the organizer for Adrian Rodriquezs GoFundMe posted an update in July. The campaign was a massive and surprising success. Adrian has used some of the money to treat himself and is saving the rest. In her update, she said, “Hi all, just wanted to thank everyone that has donated… you don’t even know how happy and grateful Adrian is… by far non of us thought it would get this far but from the bottom of our hearts thank you. Adrian used some of the money and bought himself a car and he will be saving the rest of it. here’s Adrian with his mom and I had the pleasure of meeting her.”

Keep Reading: Young woman grabs blind man’s hand not knowing man from stands filming her


  1. Chula Vista Teen Praised for Returning Woman’s Lost Purse.” NBC San Diego. June 27, 2022.
  2. “Fine Young Man Raised by Parents Right” GoFundMe.