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Cabbie Returns $100K Worth Of Jewelry, Cash Left In Taxi

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- To most taxi riders, $100,000 left in the back of a cab is as good as gone, but John James is a lucky man.

After returning to his apartment at the National Arts Club Sunday afternoon, James realized he forgot a bag with $100,000 worth of jewelry and cash in the back seat of a taxi cab.

"I thought that it was the end of the world, James said.

With the help of a friend in city government and a receipt he thankfully kept, James was able to track down cabbie Zubiru Jalloh.

James, Jalloh
John James (L), Zubiru Jalloh (R) (Photos/CBS 2)

"The man had my possessions because he took it from the backseat when new passengers got on and were, I guess, messing with my tote bag," James told 1010 WINS. "He asked to have it lifted up to the front seat where he protected it and then took it home."

TLC chairman David Yassky said it was important for people to keep their taxi receipts.

"We've got our GPS locators in every taxi, so if you give us the receipt, we can identify the taxi cab and find if your property is still there," he said.

James got his bag back Monday and offered Jalloh a $1,000 reward, which the cabbie reluctantly accepted. Jalloh was also asked to attend the club's Valentine's Day party but declined the invitation.

When presented with the fact that he could have easily lied and said there was no bag in the cab, Jalloh, who is Muslim, said "of course."

"But that's not me. My religion does not accept that," he told CBS 2's Tony Aiello.

"People in New York, you know, try to give back because the city has been so good to us and you hear such horrible stories it's nice to hear positive ones," James said. "People that go about their business, everyday, doing and living are the real heroes."

This is my job -- to be honest and truthful to people. That's exactly what my religion told me. He said 'please, have this money' so he gave me one thousand dollars cash,"  Jalloh said.

What do you make of Jalloh's honesty? Sound off in our comments section.

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