Homeless man returns $2,000 camera 4 months later

POSTED: 7:16 PM Jan 20 2014
REDDING,Calif. -

A Redding woman with a passion for shooting pictures of the resident bald eagles had an unlikely reunion on Sunday.

Renae Tolbert got something she thought she would never see again, her Nikon D5000 camera with a 500 mm lens which she uses to photograph the eagles.

Tolbert said a couple of months ago she accidentally left her $2,000 camera on the Dana to Downtown trail and thought she'd never see it again.

Tolbert said the camera was a gift from her husband.

"I never lay it down, it was just kinda my rule,never lay my big camera down but I didn't wanna look like here's my camera in the picture with these ladies," said Tolbert.

Tolbert went back to were she had left her camera but when she got there, it was gone.

Tolbert said she filed a police report and even handed out fliers in hope that someone would find it, but no one did.

Tolbert ended up buying a replacement camera. But on Saturday while taking pictures in that very same spot, she got a surprise by a homeless man by the name of John.

"He looked at my camera and goes did you lose a camera like that?" said Tolbert.
"My heart just like went thud. I think I grabbed his arm and I said yes."

Tolbert was astounded by her luck.

"Where did you find it and he goes 'it was right there by the wall' and I knew that instant that he had found it," said Tolbert.

She met the man at 1:00 pm on Sunday at the Sundial Bridge.

Tolbert said she couldn’t believe her eyes. John had her camera in a bag. He had wrapped it so carefully that there wasn’t a scratch on it.

Tolbert said she gave him the reward she had been offering for the camera and said she is so thankful for John.