LIRR employee returns $9,000 cash left on train car to grateful customer

NEW YORK (WABC) -- LIRR train crew members were honored Tuesday for returning $9,000 cash to a very grateful customer who left it on a train car last week.

On Aug. 29, LIRR Conductor Jerry Savino spotted a suitcase in the overhead rack of a train car just after 6:30 p.m.

Savino found the case contained a wallet, tax documents, checkbooks and $9,000 cash that appeared to be business proceeds.

"I was worried about securing the money and needed to make sure the owner got all his belongings," Savino said. "After I went through the suitcase; I saw the wallet, a checkbook, important documents, along with an envelope. The envelope had a dollar sign on it. When I read the label that said $9,000, I knew the owner would want me to take good care of it."

Savino and his fellow crew members told supervisors what they found and handed it over to MTA Police Officer Thomas Garland.

Garland was able to identify the owner of the suitcase and track them down on the phone to pick up their property.

Savino said he simply handled the situation the way he would want someone to handle it if it was his money.

He said they find dozens of items every day.

"We always return them to the lost and found department. But we never hear back from the customers," he said. "In this case, I know it got back to the customer's hands. I am sure the customer who lost the money really needs it and I am glad our crew was able to give it back to him. We really care about our customers and we put a lot of dedication into our job. It was not only me; it was the entire crew who followed the procedure and went beyond it to help find the owner."

The LIRR's Lost & Found takes in about 16,000 items per year and returns about 53 percent of the items.

Customers who believe they have lost an item on a train are asked to file a report.

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