Cabbie's Honesty Pays Off

Cab driver Haider Sediqi, an Afghan immigrant, poses with his cab, Thirsday, Nov. 17, 2005, in Los Angeles. Sediqi, discovered a pouch after dropping off a passenger at Los Angeles International Airport. When his friend later opened the pouch, he found about 100 diamonds, worth $350,000 plus a cell phone bill. He called the number and arranged to meet the owner at the airport police station to return the diamonds.
Two weeks ago, Haider Sediqi reunited a passenger with $350,000 in diamonds that the man had left in his taxicab.

Now, Sediqi's act of honesty has turned to gold.

The New York jeweler who forgot the bag of diamonds sent Sediqi a $10,000 check and a diamond bracelet. Sediqi said the man's thank-you note meant just as much to him.

"The guy, he said I changed his life," Sediqi said. "That's very important."

Eric Austein left the diamonds in Sediqi's cab Nov. 16 when he got out at Los Angeles International Airport. Sediqi tracked him down through a cell phone bill he found inside the bag.

Austein promised him a reward, but Sediqi said he didn't think much about it until it arrived a few days ago.

Sediqi, 40, said he considered using the money to pay off credit card debt but decided to save it to help pay for his children's schooling. He gave the bracelet to his wife, Nasima.