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Wallet stolen in 1969 found during Dayton's building renovation

A former Dayton's employee has been reunited with her wallet, lost in the former Minneapolis department store for nearly 50 years.

MINNEAPOLIS – A former Dayton’s employee has been reunited with her wallet, lost in the former Minneapolis department store for nearly 50 years.

“This is it,” said Linda Rost, emptying the contents of the olive-green wallet. “My driver’s license and my university ID.”

Rost was working behind the store’s cosmetics counter in 1969 when the wallet was stolen from her purse.

Forty-nine years later, with the Dayton’s building under renovation, the wallet re-emerged as some ductwork came down.

Char Nelson, who works for a demolition company, made the discovery.

“I had just swept up and made a pile, so it was just in my pile to go in the dumpster,” Nelson said.

The wallet’s metal snap caught her eye. “Otherwise it would have just been thrown away.”

Nelson tracked down Rost on Facebook and returned the wallet.

“It was so fun to be able to give that back to you and so fulfilling to be able to find something like that,” Nelson told Rost.

Rost said the wallet contained only a couple of dollars when it was stolen. The money was gone. She speculates the thief stuffed the wallet in a vent as he or she exited the store.

“Forty-nine years it's been sitting in there,” Rost said.

Now back in Rost’s hands, the wallet has served as a leather time capsule, yielding among other things, a $23 natural gas bill and a 59-cent card of buttons Rost purchased for a coat that’s now long gone.

A former Dayton's employee has been reunited with her wallet, lost in the former Minneapolis department store for nearly 50 years. (Photo: KARE 11)

The wallet also yielded Rost’s University of Minnesota student ID and school photos of her younger cousins, which she plans to return to them.

“One of my cousins said, ‘I don’t have any pictures of my school, my mom gave them all away,’” Rost said.

The wallet also contained Rost’s Dayton’s credit card, several receipts and some raffle tickets for a turkey giveaway. She didn’t win.

Whatever inconvenience Rost suffered when her wallet was stolen, she now at least has something in return.

“Yeah, it's a good story,” she said. “We both have a good story.”

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