It’s amazing what can happen when the person making the phone calls is an LA Times city columnist rather than a sometimes-homeless Vietnam vet.

Steve Lopez recently discovered that 56-year-old native Rex Baker (pictured), after finding $882 in cash on an MTA bus and being told the money could be his after 30 days if it was unclaimed, had been informed that actually the transit agency’s policy is to give any such dollars to local charity. Baker was ready to chalk it up as a hard lesson learned, until Lopez got involved.

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