Wallet returned to Calera man thanks to social media

Published 4:48 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2023

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – A lost wallet was found, and returned, to its rightful owner thanks to the honesty of a good Samaritan and the attention of local individuals on social media on Monday, Dec. 18.

Jason Capley, a resident of Tuscaloosa, was on a bike ride in the Oakmulgee district of the Talladega National Forest on Thursday, Dec. 17 when he came across the wallet of Jimmy Robert Payton Jr., a Calera local.

The Oakmulgee district, which covers 157,000 acres of land and wilderness encompassing Hale, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Perry, Chilton and Dallas counties, is part of the Talladega National Forest, which covers 392,567 total acres. It is a popular area for hikers, bikers, hunters and enjoyers of nature year round.

Upon finding the wallet, Capley took to social media and asked the public for help in locating Payton. At the suggestion of at least one individual, Capley also saw to it that his post was sent to and shared by Meteorologist James Spann’s Facebook page, which quickly allowed it to gain traction and attention.

“I’d like to get it back to him,” read Capley’s initial post on Facebook. “He has some pictures of his grandchildren that I’m sure he wants to keep.”

The search and Capley’s post quickly made it back to Calera, where among others, it gained the attention of the Calera Police Department, which offered its services in ensuring a safe and timely return of Payton’s wallet.

On the morning of Monday, Dec. 18, Capley posted that he had successfully made contact with Payton and that his wallet had been returned.

News of the successfully returned property resulted in a round of congratulations and recognition from local individuals and organizations over Facebook.

“We definitely need more honest, caring people like Jason Capley,” said Calera Police Chief David Hyche. “I hope I get the opportunity to thank him personally.”

In response to the recognition, Capley responded over social media with a few words that reflected the wide impact of a small good deed.

“We can all make a difference in someone’s life just by caring a little bit about others,” Capley said.