New York taxi driver returns $100K worth of valuables left in cab

February 16th, 2011 by Staff

NEW YORK (NewsCore) – An honest New York City cab driver returned a bag containing more than $100,000 of jewelry, $200 in cash and other valuables to its rightful owner after it was left in the back of his taxi, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The bag’s owner, John James, did not realize it was missing until he was at his apartment and reached for the bag to show off some treasured photographs he took with a few of his late friends — actress Sylvia Sidney, writer Dominick Dunne and broadcaster Alistair Cooke.

James returned to his apartment Sunday afternoon from an office near New York’s Madison Square Park, where he picked up the tote bag. He said he planned to carry them on the Amtrak Acela train that night to a bank in Delaware, where his family has two homes.

Realizing his mistake, he called a friend who had worked in city government, who told him they would find the bag. Crucially, James took a receipt from the driver, Zubiru Jalloh.

Jalloh was on his way uptown to pray at New York’s Islamic Cultural Center. After dropping off James, he stopped to pick up a passenger in a wheelchair. When he tried to help her into the back of his Ford Crown Victoria, he saw the bag. Inside was a large piece of jewelry with stones that looked like diamonds.

On Monday, the pair reunited outside the National Arts Club, where Jalloh dropped James off Sunday. He gave Jalloh a reward of 10 $100 bills and invited him to a Valentine’s Day party scheduled for Monday night.

Jalloh said he reluctantly took the money but declined the invitation. “My religion told me whenever you find people’s property, return it back to them,” he said.


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