iN VIDEO: Local business owner tests honesty of Vernonites with 'social experiment' - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: Local business owner tests honesty of Vernonites with 'social experiment'

A passerby hands David Scarlatescu his phone back. The results of Scarlatescu's social experiment are not what he expected.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/David Scarlatescu
April 16, 2019 - 12:35 PM

VERNON - When David Scarlatescu went out on the streets of Vernon and conducted a "social experiment" to test the public's honesty, he was expecting to find at least one bad apple. Fortunately, he found none.

The owner of the Fig Bistro headed out with his cameraman Mitchell Vanlerberg and secretly filmed people to see if they would return an iPhone Scarlatescu would purposely drop as he walked past them.

"We just wanted to see how honest people actually are," Scarlatescu said.

And 100 per cent of people alerted Scarlatescu he'd just dropped his phone.

"I was expecting most people to give it back, but I did expect at least one person to take it and run off with it," Scarlatescu said. "We tested a lot of places, more rougher sides of town, by the shelter, by the Upper Room Mission, in Polson Park, by the skate park, to our surprise everyone gave it back."

Scarlatescu said he went out and conducted the social experiment because there's a lot of negativity and stigma currently associated with downtown Vernon. He said he chose to use a phone as it's one of the most commonly stolen items.

"It's good to show there a lot of honesty and integrity in general no matter where you are people will actually let you know and give things back, I think it was awesome," he said.

Scarlatescu said he may do the experiment again, but use a wallet full of cash, to see if people reactions would be the same.

Scarlatescu has done social experiments before, last year he locked himself in a car with the windows up in the middle of summer to highlight the effects of dogs left in hot cars.

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