View Full Version : 350,000 worth of Diamonds left in Cab ~ and Returned!

11-19-2005, 12:42 AM
In the end, no one seemed to think it was a big deal: a bag left behind, a bag recovered, a bag returned to its rightful owner.

Simple as that except that this bag contained some of the most valuable lost items Lt. Richard Hinkle had ever seen in all his years with the Los Angeles International Airport Police: $350,000 worth of cut diamonds.

The story of diamonds lost and returned by a taxi driver began Wednesday afternoon, when Heider Sediqi, 40, picked up a passenger from the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

He was an older man in business attire, and one of those passengers who preferred not to chat. Sediqi pulled his Checker cab to the curb at LAX, let the man out and thought no more about it.

He went to get gas. He went to the car wash.

Cleaning the car, he noticed something in the back seat: a small, brown pouch, zippered and plain. He stashed it in the front, thinking he'd deal with it later.

And there the bag sat in Sediqi's cab as it rolled through the car wash, then was wiped clean by workers.

It was still sitting unopened as Sediqi picked up a fare and drove to Long Beach; still there when Sediqi met a fellow cabby, Shafi Shalizy, for a quick lunch.

He told his friend he'd have to figure out how to return the bag and left him to ponder it as he went to the restroom.

When Sediqi returned, the bag was open and Shalizy was agape. "Oh, God," Sediqi recalled his friend saying, staring into the bag. "Look at those things."

There were several clear plastic boxes of cut diamonds in the bag, carefully mounted in Styrofoam. A fortune's worth. "Unbelievable," Sediqi recalled thinking.

A father of two with a pregnant wife, Sediqi is originally from Afghanistan and a self-described "hard worker." He has a dream of quitting his taxi job to go into the restaurant business.

But none of this was in his mind at that moment. He recalled thinking, "How am I going to catch that guy?"

Sediqi and Shalizy found a cellphone bill in the bag and called the number. Sediqi willed himself to sound nonchalant. A man answered. "Um," Sediqi said. "Did you leave anything?"

"Oh, my God," said the voice on the phone.

Jewelry businessman Eric Austein had not yet flown out of LAX to go back to New York. Sediqi arranged to meet him at the airport police station.

Sediqi had a friend at the station: Hinkle, his next-door neighbor in the South Bay.

Hinkle had always noticed what a "humble, honest gentleman" Sediqi seemed. He wasn't surprised when Sediqi told him the story. Just a day's work.

Story (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-diamonds18nov18,1,6089487.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california)

11-19-2005, 01:50 AM
Seems like the cab driver should have been given some kind of reward for his honesty.

11-19-2005, 02:33 AM
Now that is a great story showing honesty!

thank you for posting.

the taxi driver did the right thing. :)

i have a small problem with rewards for honesty in that i want to believe people should do the right thing, come what may.

having said that, i would imagine he would most probably have received a 'thank you' from the grateful owner -- just that is wasn't reported. and possibly Heider Sediqi would prefer to keep any reward quiet for tax reasons?

11-19-2005, 02:13 PM
What a temptation! Yet he passed on the temptation and got in contact with the rightful owner! Kudo's to the taxi driver!

11-21-2005, 08:46 AM
Great story!!! Made me smile, indeed!!! :D

Jeana (DP)
11-21-2005, 07:02 PM
I would have no problem handing back millions in cash, lottery tickets, checks, etc., but DIAMONDS????? THAT would be a test fer sure!


11-30-2005, 08:03 PM
A Southern California cab driver's simple act of honesty has turned to gold.

Two weeks ago, the driver, Haider Sediqi, tracked down a jeweler and returned to him the $350,000 worth of diamonds he left in the back seat of the taxi.

As a way of saying "thank you," the jeweler sent the cabbie a $10,000 check and a diamond bracelet.

But the honest cabbie was just as impressed with the man's thank-you note. The jeweler wrote that the cab driver had "changed his life."

11-30-2005, 08:06 PM
Great ending to this story!!! :clap: :clap:

11-30-2005, 08:12 PM

This is really a nice story ...
But yeah Jeana DIAMONDS????

It would have only been 300K worth when returned :slap:

11-30-2005, 08:24 PM
LOL, at least he got some diamonds out of the deal. What a reward for being supportive of your husband.