De Pere family aims to return the favor after father-son duo return lost wallet


DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) — When 17-year-old Chase Dahlke returned from a fishing trip at Voyageur Park on Memorial Day, he quickly noticed something was missing.

“I was fishing with my buddy,” he told WFRV Local 5. “After we got done fishing, I noticed that my wallet was gone. I got home, checked my drawers, there was nothing in there.”

Chase thought the wallet and its contents were lost.

Later that same day, a surprise showed up on his family’s front porch.

“Our watches and our phones were going off,” Michelle Dahlke, Chase’s stepmom said, “saying someone was at the front door. We were across the street having a barbecue.”

They checked the Ring app and saw a young boy waiting at the door.

Chase’s dad, Jason Dahlke, talked to the boy through the doorbell and learned that the boy had found and was returning the wallet.

He ran home to collect the wallet, and discovered he didn’t have much cash on him.

So, Jason handed the boy the cash that was in the wallet: $2.

“I was still kind of in shock that somebody could do a nice gesture like this,” Jason said.

The family wanted to do more for the strangers who returned the wallet, but they were already gone and had left no way to contact them.

So, Michelle took images from the door bell app and made a Facebook post.

“[She] made it public just to share with everybody,” Jason explained, “just to see if anybody in town knew who these people were.”

“And right away we were able to identify who it was.” Michelle added.

The boy in the pictures was 11-year-old Vince Hietpas.

“We were walking to our car, and then we saw the wallet next to a tree,” Vince told Local 5.

Vince and his dad, Lorenzo, had been out for a walk at the park and decided to return the wallet to the address on Chase’s driver’s license.

“The dad, he was walking across the street and he said, ‘Hey you found the wallet.’ and I said ‘yeah, my kid found it,'” Lorenzo Herrera Olea remembered.

Lorenzo and Vince thought that was it.

“We got two dollars and I was happy,” Vince said.

Then, their family and friends started recognizing Vince in Michelle’s Facebook post.

The families reconnected and found out that Lorenzo hasn’t been able to return to his job at a meat processing plant after recovering from the coronavirus.

“You know, I tried a couple times to go to my regular job but I can’t do it,” Lorenzo said, explaining that the PPE required at the plant is too difficult to breathe in after his recovery.

He’s now working, doing odd jobs to support his family.

“I’m a little upset that I only had a couple bucks in my wallet, I wish I had more money,” Chase said.

The Dahlke’s plan to thank Vince and his family in a bigger way and the online community that helped identify the boy in the photos wants to chip in too.

“We have people reaching out to us, asking how they can help, how can they help this family who has raised this child so well,” Michelle said.

Everyone is impressed with Vince, but for him, the moral of the story is simple.

“Doing the right thing is good,” he said.

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