Bridal / Industry

LIRR Conductor Returns 36 Engagement Rings Left On Train

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This is a truism in New York: Leave something on the train or in the cab and you’ll never see it again. But on April 22, exactly the opposite happened to jeweler Ed Eleasian.

While on his way home, Eleasian, a Long Island resident who commutes to his office in midtown Manhattan on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), left 36 engagement rings worth about $107,000 on the train.

Assistant conductor Jonathan Yellowday, who was working the 6:11 p.m. train from Manhattan’s Penn Station to Port Washington on Long Island, discovered the case in a plastic bag shortly after ending his route.

“I got on the next train going back to Penn, turned it in, and the rest is history,” Yellowday said, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The assistant conductor, who has been with the LIRR for seven years, has since been dubbed a “gem” by the LIRR and the MTA.

Eleasian and his wife took the LIRR into Penn Station the following day to retrieve the rings. They were greeted by LIRR president Phil Eng and Vincent Tessitore, the vice general chairman of the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Union (SMART), who were there for a commendation ceremony to honor Yellowday.

commendation ceremony
Assistant conductor Jonathan Yellowday, flanked by LIRR president Phil Eng (left) and SMART vice general chairman Vincent Tessitore, at the commendation ceremony for Yellowday

“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 Yellowday, according to the same statement. “So thank you for your heroic actions and saving the day for 36 future couples.”

After receiving a hug from a grateful Eleasian, Yellowday told the jeweler, “I could only imagine what you were going through yesterday when you realized that you didn’t have your jewelry. You know when you get on the 6:11, you’re in good hands.”

Top: An MTA police officer shows the engagement rings left behind on the LIRR. (All photos courtesy of the MTA) 

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Kristin Young

By: Kristin Young

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