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Homeless couple returns $10,000 found on street in Brazil

A homeless couple in São Paulo handed over to police a bag containing about 20,000 reais ($10,000) they found abandoned on a street in the city's east end.
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A close-up of a Brazilian one-real coin at Bovespa stock exchange in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 3, 2012. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — A homeless couple in São Paulo handed over to police a bag containing about 20,000 reais ($10,000) they found abandoned on a street in the city's east end.

Rejaniel de Jesus Silva Santos, 36, and Sandra Reina Domingues had been living together for four months under Azevedo bridge in São Paulo's Tatuapé neighborhood when at 3:30 a.m. they heard a store's alarm go off nearby and decided to go see what had happened, reported newspaper Folha de S.Paulo. On their way, they found the bag full of money — 17,000 reais in bills and 3,000 reais in coins — abandoned near a bus stop. Santos, who earns around 15 reais ($7.50) per day collecting recyclable products from the street, said that "the first thing that came to my mind when I saw all that money was to call the police."

According to O Globo, police have arrested a suspect in the robbery, which took place at a Japanese restaurant. The owners of the restaurant have also decided to reward the couple for returning the money stolen from their establishment by offering them two places in a course that would allow them to work for the company after it had been completed.

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"We are thinking of offering them a complete course," Daniel Uemura, one of the restaurant's owners, told O Globo. "If they are a good fit for our company, they could work for us and have a better life."

EFE reported that the only thing Santos wanted from the situation was for his mother, who still lives in his home state of Maranhão, to see him on television.

"My mother taught me that I must not steal and to tell the police if I see anyone doing anything (illegal)," he said. "If she sees me on TV there in Maranhão she'll know that her son is still one of the honest people in the world."

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