LIRR conductor returns $107K in rings to Roslyn jeweler

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LIRR conductor returns $107K in rings to Roslyn jeweler
MTA Long Island Rail Road Assistant Conductor Jonathan Yellowday found and turned in a sample case containing over $100,000 worth of rings left behind by jeweler Ed Eleasian of Roslyn. (Photo by Marc A. Hermann, courtesy of the MTA)

Over $107,000 worth of engagement rings, some with embedded diamonds, were returned to a Roslyn jeweler by a Long Island Rail Road conductor after they were left on a Port Washington branch train last week.

Ed Eleasian, a Roslyn resident whose wholesale jewelry business Elie International is based in Manhattan, was commuting home on the 6:11 p.m. train from Penn Station to Port Washington last Thursday. Accompanying him was a case of rings, which he intended to show a cousin.

But the morning after he exited the train at the Plandome station, Eleasian realized that he had left the rings on the train.

“I said, ‘What did I do with his bag?’” he recalled to The Daily News. “‘I said, ‘Oh my God. I left it on the train.’”

Soon after Eleasian left the train, Assistant Conductor Jonathan Yellowday of Murray Hill, Queens, was preparing to call out the Port Washington stop over the loudspeaker when he noticed a black case on a seat.

Yellowday brought it to a private train compartment and opened the case, finding 36 rings priced between $2,000 and $7,000 and numerous precious stones.

“I had to do a double take because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Yellowday told The Daily News. “I actually thought they were fake until I saw the price tags.”

The conductor got on the next train to Penn Station and turned the case in the same night.

Eleasian  joined LIRR President Phil Eng and MTA Board Member and Vice General Chairman of the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Union (SMART) Vincent Tessitore on Friday afternoon to give Yellowday a commendation for his actions.

“Not only did you find and return these 36 rings, but just think about the happiness of 36 couples down the road that will be joined together in happiness, and they’ll have a story to tell,” Eng told the conductor. “So, thank you for your heroic actions and saving the day for 36 future couples. I understand the value of these diamond rings, but everything found and returned to the customer is immensely important to them. You treated this just as you should have and it’s another proud day for us at the railroad.”

Yellowday, a seven-year veteran of the railroad, said that while he has found wallets and phones, nothing could come close to matching this find.

“I could only imagine what you were going through yesterday when you realized that you didn’t have your jewelry,” Yellowday told Eleasian at their meeting. “You know when you get on the 6:11 you’re in good hands.”

Eleasian also told The Daily News that he intends to make Yellowday a ring of his own as another way to say thank you.

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