Police Commissioner Edward Davis presented Glen James with a special citation at police headquarters.
Inside the backpack police found $2,400 in U.S. currency, almost $40,000 in traveler’s checks as well as Chinese passports and other personal papers.
“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a … penny of the money I found,” James said in a written statement handed out to reporters. “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone — every pedestrian stranger — who has given me spare change. Thank you!”
James said he chose to write out his remarks because he stutters and doesn’t talk much, the Boston Globe reported.
The man who lost the backpack, identified only as a Chinese student, contacted police and was able to prove he was the rightful owner, authorities said.