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Good Samaritan returns $250,000 worth of jewelry to Florida couple

Posted at 7:37 AM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 16:49:08-05

PINELLAS CO., FLA. — A Pinellas County couple is praising a Good Samaritan who returned $250,000 in jewelry after finding their luggage in the road.

"He's our Christmas Angel," Dr. Joe Fitzgerald said. "He not only found it. He also called 911 and made sure we got our jewelry back."

Joe and his wife Elif Fitzgerald attended an annual Denim and Diamonds charity event for Hands Across the Bay Saturday night. That's why Elif Fitzgerald had expensive pieces of jewelry with her.

The Fitzgeralds were one of the sponsors for the event, and they had a lot to pack up at the end of the night. Joe Fitzgerald says he put most of the luggage in the back of his trunk, including his wife's luggage, with the jewelry in it.

"On my way home the back hatch opened and the bag fell out near West Bay Dr. and Indian Rocks Rd." he said.

The Fitzgeralds had no idea the bag was gone, "until I looked at my phone."

Elif Fitzgerald said she had dozens of missed calls and text messages telling her someone found their bag and the jewelry in it.

"I was completely shocked that they returned it," she said. "I have valuable jewelry. It's an amazing feeling knowing there are people out there like that man."

The couple is so appreciative to their "Christmas Angel" that they plan to meet up with him and give him a reward.

This story was originally published by JJ Burton on WFTS in Tampa, Florida.