WHAT would you do? Not if you lost your traveler's checks, but if you found, as Gus Delinikos of Warren, Ohio, found, that your bank account had been credited with the wrong amount. Mr. Delinikos had asked that $774.75 be transferred from his bank account in Greece to his account at the Second National Bank in Warren. But someone misplaced the decimal point, and Mr. Delinikos' account was credited with $774,750. It was a $773,975.25 mistake.
Now we all know what Mr. Delinikos should have done. He should have gone down to the bank, explained the matter, chuckled a little, and maybe called a reporter from the Warren paper and given him the story. Perhaps the bank would have given him a modest reward. It is even possible that some such thoughts occurred to him.
But apparently other thoughts did as well. We don't know exactly what Mr. Delinikos decided to do, and when he decided to do it. But we do know that before the bank discovered the error, all but $32,000 had been withdrawn from Mr. Delinikos' account. And we do know that when the bank sent someone around to Mr. Delinikos' house to inquire about the matter -- evidently he had not responded to telephone calls or letters -- they found the lights on, but no one at home.
Mr. Delinikos is now reportedly something of a folk hero in Warren -- which as part of the Youngstown metropolitan area has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates. The bank deplores his conduct, and we feel bound to agree -- although we have to admit that leaving $32,000 in the account and leaving the lights on were nice touches. Somewhere out there, in the land where Judge Crater and D.B. Cooper live, Mr. Delinikos presumably thrives; although we'd bet he's holed up somewhere near Miami, where the banks are used to getting large cash deposits. Now tell us: what would you do?