Thanks to a quick-thinking check-out clerk at Smith's Food and Drug on Freedom Boulevard. in Provo, Tom Means will not have to replace all his credit cards or get a new driver license. And he's not out a bunch of money.
Means' truck was broken into last week and the thief got away with his wallet and cellphone. Shortly after the break-in, the thief attempted to use Means' debit card at the Smith's near his home.
Clerk Jodi Brown knew Means as a longtime shopper there and realized immediately the man with the wallet was not him. So she not only refused to OK the purchase of several hundred dollars of groceries, merchandise and gift cards, she grabbed the wallet from the man, who then took off. Everything in the wallet was intact, says Means.
By the way, if the thief is caught and prosecuted, Means will probably have to recuse himself from the case. He is the director of the Public Defenders Office in Provo.
Here are some more feel-good stories:
• Sandee Brewer was walking her dog along the Jordan River Parkway recently when she suddenly had one of those "I-can't-believe-I-just-did-that" moments. As she went to throw some trash into a large dumpster, she inadvertently tossed in her car keys as well. She couldn't quite reach inside, and was unable to tip the large canister. So guess who came to the rescue? Jerry Sloan. The former Utah Jazz coach, who appeared to have been jogging on the trail, answered her call for help. He retrieved a windshield wiper with a long handle from his truck, lifted himself up to see inside the dumpster and fished the keys out of the trash.
• Aimee Burrows, of Holladay, was flying a wind-up helicopter on the Olympus Jr. High School sports field with her kids Isaac and Jovie last week when the flying toy got stuck in a tree. She was jumping up and down trying to reach it, without success, when a UPS truck stopped nearby and the driver hopped out with a long telescoping snow scraper. He freed the copter, to cheers from the kids, then got back in his truck and took off before Aimee could get his name to properly thank him. So now, she and her kids always wave at UPS drivers when they pass by.
• When Briggs Glaus turned 5 recently, his parents asked him what he wanted most for his birthday. He said he wanted to make sure that all dogs and cats have homes. His mom, Becky, told him that there were lots of shelters that tried to do that, and named one No More Homeless Pets. Briggs then said that instead of getting presents at his birthday party, he wanted to ask his friends to give money to No More Homeless Pets. On Monday, the pre-kindergartner personally delivered $115 that he collected at his birthday party to the office of No More Homeless Pets.
• After a long, tiring day last week, Ursula Pimentel was loading groceries into her car at Costco when a minivan stopped behind her car and a young pregnant woman got out. She had a bouquet of beautiful gerberas in her hand, held them out to Ursula and said: "May I give you these flowers?" The woman explained she bought two bunches and only needed one, and sensed that Ursula could use some flowers. She then drove off before Ursula could get her name.