California man finds and returns $1 million in jewels

A Louis Vuitton bag with an estimated $1 million in jewelry was found on a Sausalito, Calif., park bench and made its way back to its rightful owners thanks to the efforts of an honest man who happened to be hiking in the park that same day, according to media reports.

“Every person I know or associate with would have done the same thing,” said respiratory therapist Suhrhoff, 56, of San Rafael, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I’m glad to be able to help.”
 
The purse belonged to Shahla Ghannadian, who left her husband watch the purse for awhile. He accidentally left her purse on a park bench, the Marin Independent Journal reported Tuesday. This is the type of accident that would have likely placed the husband in the dog house for life.

The Ghannadians, who live in Toronto, were in San Francisco over the weekend to attend the wedding of a daughter who lives there, the newspaper reported. Their flight home wasn’t until Sunday night, so family members drove to Sausalito earlier that day for some sightseeing and ice cream.

Shahla Ghannadian brought her purse, which contained the jewelry and accessories she wore to the wedding, the newspaper reported. The valuables included a Cartier watch and various pieces of jewelry made of pearls, emeralds and diamonds, including a 12-ct. stone, police said. Also in the purse were $300 in U.S. cash and $200 in Canadian currency.

It was not until the family reached their hotel in San Francisco that they realized the husband left the purse on a park bench, the newspaper reported.

The police and the family reportedly had little hope that the valuables would ever be found again. But on Monday, Suhrhoff walked into the police department holding the bag, with the cash and valuables still inside, and turned it over to a counter clerk. Suhrhoff reportedly mentioned to the clerk that he thought the accessories were costume jewelry.

The bag and the valuables were returned to the family who were back home in Toronto.

“You have to be a real man to return that bag,” the couple’s son, Ali, told the newspaper. “Even the bag is expensive. We’re really, really thankful to that guy.”