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NYC cab drove off with suitcase that had $8,000 in irreplaceable jewelry

NYC cab drove off with suitcase that had $8,000 in irreplaceable jewelry

Old Jul 8, 11, 7:24 am
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NYC cab drove off with suitcase that had $8,000 in irreplaceable jewelry

Dear FT Community,

My girlfriend and I just spent the weekend in NYC and on our way out of town, she took a yellow cab to Penn Station. Upon arriving, she got out to get her bag from the trunk but before she could do so the cab sped off and didn't stop despite her yelling and waiving her arms in protest. She's called the NYC Taxi and Limousin Commission, the police, lost and found at penn and grand central as well as LGA, JFK and EWR. So far, no luck.

The bag was a normal size roller suitcase full of clothing and irreplaceable jewelry given to her by her recently deceased grandma. Even worse, the bag wasn't insured in any way so along with the huge sentimental loss, she's also out thousands of dollars in clothes and jewelry.

She's absolutely devastated and as a good boyfriend, I'm trying to help her get the bag. She's willing to pay a sizable reward and she's also interested in hiring a private investigator to bring some heat on the taxi drivers of the specific cab since taxi and Limousin Commission says they reached the drivers but that they don't have the bag and they don't remember ever having a bag.

The police have refused to take the case thus for so we are trying to find a private investigator. While Google turns up some random firms with sketchy websites, I'd really love to find a private investigator through a personal referral rather than trying to pick one from websites that look like this: http://sfapi.tripod.com/.

Does anyone know a good private investigator in the NYC area? Please help!
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Old Jul 8, 11, 7:53 am
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Not sure what a private investigator could do when you don't even have a lead of where it went. At this point it is her word against some unknown cab driver. Would a lawsuit against the cab company go anywhere? I'm guessing not, but IANAL.

Are there pictures or an inventory of the jewelry? I would file a police report itemizing what is missing/stolen. Watch craigslist, ebay, pawh shops etc. to see if any of the stuff shows up.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 8:15 am
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Out of curiousity, what happened when the cab arrived at her destination? Iow what was the order of events? Pay driver, step out of car, driver drives off? This is not unusual, the driver either forgets there is luggage, or he knows there is and is a thief.

When I have stuff in the trunk, I never leave the car until the trunk is popped and the driver steps out. I sometimes pay the driver out side the car, and will always do so if there is no trunk such as a station wagon or hatch back or suv or minivan. I always leave the passenger door open unless I see my stuff has been placed on the curb and the trunk etc is closed.

The first time I took station wagon as a cab, I paid the guy in the car, he gives me the receipt and then turns forward as if he is going to drive when I step out. I sat there for several moments, he looks in the rear view mirror with an expression that is like are u gonna get out. I remind him I have stuff and he acks his brain fart and steps out. Of course this was in NYC.

I would post a reward, and enlist FTers to circulate a flier to NYC cabbies with a web site URL that lists the reward, describes the particulars, and states no questions asked. Send a copy of the flier and stolen goods police report to pawns and make it clear to the cabbies that this wil be hard to fence.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 11:22 am
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If you payed with a CC or have the receipt, you have the taxi number on it. You can call the cab company and get in contact with the driver. If the driver says they don't have it, then good luck trying to get anything. Another passenger most likely has it as the driver doesn't stop and look for things left in the car after each fare.

You could possibly prove it with video, NYC has camera every where, but good luck getting access to those tapes.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 11:23 am
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Best of luck, ZapperO, to you and your girlfriend on this issue!

We're going to move this to the New York City regional forum where the folks may know more about taxis and P.I.'s in the NYC area and where it is perhaps more apropos.

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Old Jul 8, 11, 11:41 am
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Next to getting the cab # from your credit card bank and then contacting the NYPD, I don't think there is much you can do.

Why travel with THAT much valuable jewelry and not have it insured? Anything can happen. Like this. Why take the risk?

Hiring the private investigator will just be a waste of money. I don't see what a PI can do to retrieve the jewelry. I looked at the link you provided and didn't see the PI firm advertise its services of retrieving lost or stolen property. For all we know, the cabbie could have turned the bag in to his dispatcher and then somehow it vanished.

Get the cab information and then call the NYPD. Not sure even what THAT will do but who knows.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post

Hiring the private investigator will just be a waste of money. I don't see what a PI can do to retrieve the jewelry.
I don't know either but I do know they will make it a priority. Of course, I have no idea if OP knows what PIs charge, i.e. a good one is $175 an hour and up, plus expenses and they require a retainer.

[Edited to add:] OP, if you want a referral, PM me.

Last edited by Landing Gear; Jul 8, 11 at 11:53 am
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Old Jul 8, 11, 3:13 pm
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Even if you locate the driver there is next to nothing you can do if the stuff is gone. Police report with photos of the stuff might help - amateurs often try to pawn it at a regular pawnshop. Check any type of insurance she might have - it might cover it.

Sorry about the loss - I'd tell your girlfriend that memories of her grandma are the greatest gift and can never be stolen.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 3:31 pm
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There was a thread during the FT Awards this year of something similar happening. The guy tracked down which garage the taxi would use and some other good tips about what to do in this situation. That thread is likely in travel buzz or community. I don't have the link, but think it's worth it to do some searching ... It would've happened the 29 of April if that helps, but the thread was from before until after that date
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Old Jul 31, 11, 8:28 am
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Way late, but here is the thread, it was recently bumped ... Good to know for next time
http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/planes-trains-and-automobile-fails.9752/#post-668481
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Old Jul 31, 11, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ZapperO View Post
Dear FT Community,

My girlfriend and I just spent the weekend in NYC and on our way out of town, she took a yellow cab to Penn Station. Upon arriving, she got out to get her bag from the trunk but before she could do so the cab sped off and didn't stop despite her yelling and waiving her arms in protest. She's called the NYC Taxi and Limousin Commission, the police, lost and found at penn and grand central as well as LGA, JFK and EWR. So far, no luck.

The bag was a normal size roller suitcase full of clothing and irreplaceable jewelry given to her by her recently deceased grandma. Even worse, the bag wasn't insured in any way so along with the huge sentimental loss, she's also out thousands of dollars in clothes and jewelry.

She's absolutely devastated and as a good boyfriend, I'm trying to help her get the bag. She's willing to pay a sizable reward and she's also interested in hiring a private investigator to bring some heat on the taxi drivers of the specific cab since taxi and Limousin Commission says they reached the drivers but that they don't have the bag and they don't remember ever having a bag.

The police have refused to take the case thus for so we are trying to find a private investigator. While Google turns up some random firms with sketchy websites, I'd really love to find a private investigator through a personal referral rather than trying to pick one from websites that look like this: http://sfapi.tripod.com/.

Does anyone know a good private investigator in the NYC area? Please help!
Did the cab make the pick-up at a hotel? If so, the cab may be a "regular" for that locale. So returning to the hotel at approximately the same time(and on the same day of the week), you may find the cab waiting in the queue.
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Old Jul 31, 11, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post
Way late, but here is the thread, it was recently bumped ... Good to know for next time
http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/planes-trains-and-automobile-fails.9752/#post-668481
Not really. More than 2,000 words of someone's story containing a happy ending but of no value to OP in this thread.

Get a receipt is still the all-purpose best advice for taxi passengers.

OP never asked me for a referral to an investigator. I hope he was successful in retrieving his girlfriend's jewelry.
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Old Aug 3, 11, 6:02 pm
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OP, I am not picking on you, I know we all get busy.

But I hate when we get stories like this - about interesting or unusual situations. But situations that any of us could find ourselves in...and then we get no update on how it turned out.

There seems to be alot of this on FT (and plenty of other message sites as well)
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Old Aug 3, 11, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by rwm818 View Post
OP, I am not picking on you, I know we all get busy.

But I hate when we get stories like this - about interesting or unusual situations. But situations that any of us could find ourselves in...and then we get no update on how it turned out.

There seems to be alot of this on FT (and plenty of other message sites as well)
I agree with you. There was a recent set of threads from a prospective visitor to Brooklyn. Don't know if he ever got here or not but certainly will be reluctant to provide him as much help in the future.
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