Las Vegas Cab Driver Returns $222K to Owner

VIDEO: Adam Woldemarin received a $2,000 reward for turning over more than $221,000 found in his taxi.

(Image credit: David Cleveland/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP Photo)

An honest cab driver in Las Vegas has returned $221,510 that he found in his taxi to its grateful owner.

The cabbie, Adam Woldemariam, 42, was described as a "very nice guy" who is "very humble and religious" by one friend.

"He's a down to earth guy," said Alex "Baharu" Alebachew, a limo driver.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal described Woldemariam as a "big and honest teddy bear of an Ethiopian cabdriver," was cleaning out the back seat of his van on Sept. 2 and found a black laptop case stuffed with $221,510 in cash.

After determining the case did not belong to the driver who had just driven the car, Woldemariam took the case to the security office of his cab company, Frias Transportation Management.

The Review-Journal writes that he then received a call one hour later from the security guard with whom he had just left the cash who said, "Come back to the office. We need you."

"There's a guy who says it's his cash, standing right in front of him, a broad grin across his face," the newspaper states, which did not name the owner. "He's a white guy. Under 30 years old. Brown hair. T-shirt."

Mark James, president and CEO of Frias Transportation Management, said the company is proud of its employee.

"It goes without saying how proud we are of Adam as a member of our team at Frias for the way he conducted himself," James said in a statement. "His actions speak highly of the integrity of all our drivers and our company. It's everything you hope to see in a good employee."

Woldemariam could not be reached for comment.

The owner reportedly won the money at the Wynn Casino but left it in the cab on the way to the airport. When he realized he had forgotten the money, he called the cab company, which informed him they had his money.

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After a brief exchange that included a hug, the man told Woldemariam, "Well thank you so much!" the Review-Journal reports.

He then gave Woldemariam a $2,000 tip, which is a little over 0.9 percent of the total cash.

Alebachew told ABC News that the tip "could be better" but it should also go a long way for someone who makes about $375 a week.

Woldemariam said he is grateful and will send some of it to his family in Ethiopia, the newspaper reported.

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