NEW YORK (WPIX)—They say money doesn't grow on trees - but apparently stolen wallets do.
According to authorities, a tree in Central Park was holding a key piece of evidence to a robbery that occurred nearly 27 years ago.
In October 1982, Upper East Side resident Ruth Bendik, 69, was pickpocketed as she watched the New York City Marathon. Police conducted a thorough search for the missing wallet back then, but unfortunately nothing ever turned up.
That is, until recently.
Last week, Josh Galiley, 32, a tree-care supervisor, found the blue leather wallet inside the hollow of a dying cherry tree near Rumsey Playfield at East 72nd Street. - minus $20 cash. Galiley said he found the wallet under 5 feet of compost and immediately turned it over to Central Park Precinct cops.
Bendik, whose missing wallet was delivered to her a day after it was found, said all of her credit cards were still there, including ones for the now-defunct Bell Telephone and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank. Also still inside, Bendik's student ID from Columbia University Teachers College and an employee ID from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.