Jesse Brody holds onto the purse belonging to 82-year-old Marie Sabin that he found at a bus stop on Quadra Street and quickly returned to her because it was the right thing to do.

Lost purse links Victoria transit riders

Good Samaritan spotted purse left at downtown bus stop, takes steps to find owner

Juggling bags of groceries, and slightly upset after a doctor’s visit that didn’t go well, Marie Sabin, 82, sank exhausted into her seat on the bus two weeks ago.

A few blocks away from the stop at Quadra and Yates streets, her heart leapt with panic as she realized she had left her purse at the bus stop.

“I didn’t realize it until I was five minutes away,” she said. “I got off the bus and ran back to Quadra and my purse was gone.”

Like most women, Sabin’s life was in her purse. Her address book, cash, credit cards – all were gone.

Close to tears, she climbed back aboard a different bus and headed for home.

Jesse Brody, 22, was also riding the bus that day. The unemployed man was on his way to a meeting when he spotted the beige and red bag from his seat on another bus. “I just saw it sitting on the bench and I mentally glued myself to it,” he said.

He got off the bus and quickly grabbed the purse. “That’s not exactly the best area … around Pandora and Johnson, that area really sucks.”

No sooner had Sabin walked in the door to her apartment when her phone rang. It was her daughter calling from Vernon – someone had found the purse.

“She told me the chap who found it took it across the street to a coffee shop and made sure he opened it in front of people. Then he called my daughter to tell her he’d found my handbag.”

Brody wanted Sabin to know that he is a big man, but with a kind heart.

“He brought it to me … it had everything in it,” Sabin said.

“To me it’s so wonderful, so generous because now I’m being tested for cancer and his kind gesture made me feel so wonderful.”

“You should have seen her,” said Brody, who is new to Victoria, and on a waiting list for training with Securiguard.

“She is just the cutest little thing.”

“So many terrible things happen in this world and it’s so important for us to have some good news. Victoria deserves a man like this,” she said.

Brody said he was just doing what anyone would.

“It’s just something I hope other people would do. Just doing my part.”

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