Call it a healthy, and expensive, dose of holiday cheer. Las Vegas Yellow Checker Star cabbie Gerardo Gamboa discovered a bag left in the backseat of his cab, opened it, and immediately knew he needed to track down the owner. Inside were wads of $100 bills in six $50K bundles – $300,000 in all.
Gamboa picked up his fare Monday morning at the Cosmopolitan hotel and took him to Palms Place Casino. His passenger paid and gave him a $5 tip. Gamboa then drove to the Bellagio, where a doorman helping someone into the cab removed the bag and placed it into the front seat with Gamboa.
Gamboa, a 13-year veteran cabbie, peeked inside the bag and discovered the money – lots of it.
“I told my passenger, ‘You are my witness on this,’” the cab driver said. “And then I immediately called my dispatcher… All I wanted to do was just call my dispatcher and return it, and this is the only chance I have to show cab drivers in Las Vegas are not bad people.”
Yellow Checker Star tracked down the gambler, who said the money was for a poker tournament. He asked to see Gamboa and shook his hand, telling him he planned to reward his honesty.
Gamboa was quickly named the Yellow Checker Star 2013 Driver of the Year, and presented with $1,000 in cash and an upscale dinner for two. To Gamboa, that is more than enough thanks.
“If he doesn’t give me anything, that’s OK,” Gamboa said, speaking of the poker player's promise to reward him. “I’m not waiting for any kind of return. I just wanted to do the right thing, and I appreciate what the company did for me… I don't care from $10 to higher. My dignity is not for sale, and that's the way I am. That's the way our parents taught us when I was a kid.”