What to Know
- Honesty is the best policy for an MTA conductor and crew working an LIRR train Thursday
- A passenger initially told a crew member on the return trip from Hempstead to Brooklyn that there was an unattended "bag"
- Bag was actually folder-style suitcase that contained wallet, tax documents, checkbooks and $9K in cash; Belongings were returned to owner
Honesty is the best policy for an MTA conductor and crew working an LIRR train Thursday.
The crew unexpectedly found themselves in the possession of $9,000 after a passenger on the 5:19 p.m. Atlantic Terminal to Hempstead train apparently left behind a large parcel with a smaller envelope inside containing the jaw-dropping sum of money.
A passenger initially told a crew member on the return trip from Hempstead to Brooklyn that there was an unattended bag.
According to veteran conductor Jerry Savino, he made his way through the train cars to retrieve the unattended “bag” – which was actually a file-folder style suitcase – located in the overhead luggage rack.
“I was alerted by one of the passengers that there might be a bag on the train – an unattended bag,” Savino, who has 19 years on the job, said. “So, I assured the passenger that I would check it out. So in the course of my passing through the train, I did notice a parcel that was up higher on the racks. Really couldn’t see it but I could see there was chock-full of paperwork.”
The unattended item was then removed at Jamaica. The case contained a wallet, tax documents, checkbooks, and $9,000 in cash that appeared to be business proceeds.
Following the discovery, the MTA Police called the owner to inform them that they found the money and documents.
“This is emblematic of the diligence and concern for our customers that employees exhibit every day,” Eng said. “In this case, they saved a customer from potentially days or weeks of anxiety through the quick action and smart handling of lost property.”
SMART Union General Chairman Anthony Simon shared similar sentiments.
“The conductor and crew that stepped up and safeguarded an extremely valuable lost item which included a significant amount of cash exemplifies what our crews do on a daily basis,” Simon said. “I can assure our riders that each and every day our employees are taking measures to provide for the safety of our customers as well as their personal belongings. It is nice to see that in this case a customer and the Agency are taking a step to acknowledge the integrity and dedication of one example of what our front-line workforce does each and every day.”
Meanwhile, General Chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Kevin Sexton said that “although remarkable, the actions of the locomotive engineer and train crew are not surprising. LIRR employees go above and beyond their duties on a daily basis and this is another example of that.”
From sunglasses to guitar cases, almost every commuter has forgotten something at some point. Savino said that finding items left behind by passengers happens “quite often.”
“We find dozens of items every day,” Savino added. “We always return them to the lost and found department. But we never hear back from the customers. 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 Long Island Rail Road’s Lost and Found takes in about 16,000 items per year and returns about 53 percent of the items, the MTA said.