ALLEN — As Erfan Vatanpour flipped through the packet of $100 bills he had just found, he might have been excused for thinking that fate owed him.
The 18-year-old’s family fled Iran several years ago after being persecuted for their Baha’i faith.
Then in July, his 56-year-old father, a taxi driver, was beaten, fatally stabbed and set on fire in Denton County near Alliance Airport after picking up two men in downtown Dallas. Hooshang Vatanpour was robbed of $108, and the robbers then charged $600 to his credit cards, relatives said.
Since then, Erfan’s family has struggled even more to get by.
On Dec. 30, while the Allen High School senior was at work at a Kroger’s, he spotted a Chase Bank envelope on the floor.
Trash, he thought as he picked it up.
"When I looked in it, I saw bunches of hundreds," Erfan said. "I quickly put it in my pocket and went to an office to count it."
The "trash" added up to more than $2,800.
"My first thought was finders keepers," the teen said. "But then I thought, this is someone’s money and it wasn’t right for me to keep it."
He remembered Baha’i teachings of honesty and truth, he said, and he thought about his father, who had endured persecution for his faith.
Erfan turned over the envelope to his store manager, who contacted Allen police.
An Allen man has contacted police about the money, but authorities said he would have to go to a property hearing... >>>
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