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‘Very grateful:’ Driver returns birthday cash to woman who left purse on train

Woman 'very grateful' birthday cash returned

CALGARY — A woman who left behind a purse with $1,300 in birthday cash on a light-rail transit train says she can barely believe someone was honest enough to return it.

Li Feng Yang had just received the money for her 75th birthday and was planning to deposit it in the bank. She was taking the train to see her doctor last week when she dropped the bag on the seat beside her.

Yang realized she’d forgotten it immediately after she got off the train in downtown Calgary and the doors closed.

“A rush of burning anxiety immediately came in,” she said in a statement translated by her grandson, Kai Huang.

Yang, who does not speak English, met a Chinese-speaking man by the train station. He helped her call Calgary Transit and took her to the lost property office.

Train operator Mesfin Tadese found the bag during a walk-through when the train was at the end of the line and called the office to say he’d found the bag. He handed it off to the next driver to take to the lost and found.

The next morning, Yang received word that her bag, which also contained her cellphone and bank card, had been found. She went with her son to retrieve it.

She said she was surprised and “very happy, very grateful.”

“It was hard to believe what I see. Is there really honest people that would return my lost bag with cash in it?” she said through Huang.

“Well, the undeniable truth is in front of me.”

Yang thanked Tadese in person on Tuesday. She brought him two bouquets of flowers and embraced him at a downtown train station.

Tadese said he was just doing his job.

“I’m happy to see the original owner and give back the purse. I never thought it’s a big deal like this.”

Calgary Transit says 50 to 100 lost items are turned in every day.

In addition to wallets and cellphones, Calgary Transit has seen some odd items such as musical instruments and false teeth crop up.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

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