Iowa Man Searches for Stolen Wallet With Decades-Old Keepsakes Inside

PHOTO: Chuck Smith is searching for his stolen wallet, which had a phone number and a receipt that he had kept inside for decades.Courtesy Sarah Smith
Chuck Smith is searching for his stolen wallet, which had a phone number and a receipt that he had kept inside for decades.

An Iowa man is desperate to find his wallet that was stolen with his most prized personal mementos inside.

Chuck Smith was at the pool Thursday with his 3-year-old grandson when his wallet was stolen. The wallet had some credit cards and cash, but for Smith, the upsetting part was losing two special items -- a phone number and a receipt -- that he had kept for decades.

The phone number was from May 10, 1974 -- the day he met his wife, Cheryl. She wrote her name and number on a piece of paper and Smith has kept it ever since.

"The thing that hurts the most is that piece of paper and what it represents to me -- the relationship I've had with my wife for 41 years," Smith, 64, said. "It represents to me the day I met her. We just really hit it off and it was just one of those perfect fits. We knew from day one ... and its lasted for 41 years."

They wed in 1976, Smith said, and before the wedding, he went to a jewelry store and bought their wedding bands. He kept the receipt for the rings in his wallet for 39 years.

The stolen wallet itself had sentimental value as well -- Smith said it was handmade for him by his brother-in-law.

Smith's daughter, Sarah, said when her dad told her the wallet was gone, she "felt like taking action."

Sarah Smith said the phone number and ring receipt represent the beginning of her parents' love story and said it would "be just as devastating to them to lose their actual wedding rings."

She's been spreading the word on Facebook, and her post asking for the wallet's return has been shared over 3,000 times.

"I wrote my post to make an appeal in hopes that somewhere out there that the person who took the wallet would read my plea," she said. "Hopefully speak to this person's inner good heart and maybe they would return it."

Her father hopes whoever has it will have the compassion to return it.

"It's not about the money," Smith said. "It's just about something that's so dear to my heart."

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