A Lyttelton man's honesty paid off for the owner of a lost wallet this week.

The man found the wallet, containing $1290, on the road while working in the town and handed it in to police, who were able to return the wallet and cash to its owner.

The owner was both shocked and grateful to get the money back. He told police he had not reported it missing because he had not thought anyone would hand it in if they found it.

Sergeant Dave Knowles commended the honesty of the man who found the wallet.

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"We often hear about the bad things that go on, but this man's compassion for the owner of the wallet is a good reminder that there are a lot of positives happening around us every day," Knowles said.

"It's a great sign that community spirit is still alive and well in Lyttelton."