Man finds wallet. Man returns wallet. Man accused of stealing wallet on Facebook.

It’s often been said “No good deed goes unpunished.” Need proof?

Lehigh Valley Live reports Ricardo De Jesus-Reyes found a wallet at Walmart. He tracked down the owner on Instagram, then drove to her house to return it. She thanked him and they parted ways.

That should have been the end of the story. Unfortunately for De Jesus-Reyes, he was accused of stealing the wallet — in a public Facebook post by the local police department.

The Bethlehem Township Police Department posted his photo on Facebook and wrote, “On June 11, 2022 around 9 pm the depicted male stole a wallet at Walmart, 3926 Nazareth Pike. The male was with two women, and all three left in a red vehicle.” The department asked followers to help identify the so-called suspect.

De Jesus-Reyes was sent the post and he says he became “hysterical” because he thought he was going to be arrested. “My heart drops. Secondly, I think … I’m a wanted man. I can’t even leave this building because I’m scared if I get pulled over, I’ll go to jail. I don’t want to leave the building because I’m scared to death.”

Police eventually found out that the person who reported the wallet missing failed to let them know it had been returned. Now, the department is fixing the mistake.

“It was not our intent to falsely accuse him of anything,” police Chief Gregory Gottschall said. They took the post down and said on Facebook that De Jesus-Reyes “returned the wallet to [the owner] personally.” 

But, as De Jesus-Reyes knows, once a post is made on the internet — it is there forever. He’s hoping for an apology from the department — and that this will never happen to anyone else.