St. Charles Herald-Guide

Homteown hero: Faith in mankind restored after missing $25,000 bag returned

By Jonathan Menard - July 22, 2013

In a rush to leave Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Marrero businessman William Lazaro Jr. left a bag on a bench outside the terminal containing more than $25,000 worth of electronics and jewelry.

But in a move Lazaro said restored his faith in mankind, the bag was returned to him by St. Charles Parish courier Orin Taylor. The only thing missing was a business card that was used to contact the bag’s owner.

In late March, Lazaro returned from a business trip to New York. While there he purchased a birthday present for his daughter - an expensive ring. Lazaro carried the new ring and other pieces of personal jewelry in a men’s courier bag, which was also expensive.

In addition to the jewelry, the bag contained Lazaro’s iPad as well as other important personal and business documents. Lazaro said the value of the bag and its contents exceeded $25,000.

While loading his luggage into a vehicle at the airport, Lazaro left his bag on a bench and it was not until he arrived home an hour later that he realized his mistake.

"In a panic, I called the police at the airport who were very cooperative and searched throughout the confines of the airport to no avail," Lazaro said. "The bag was deemed missing/stolen from the premises."

Lazaro immediately headed back to the airport to search for the bag and to have a police report written detailing the situation and the contents of the missing bag. While at the airport, he received a call from Taylor, who asked him if he had lost a grey bag.

Taylor told Lazaro that his uncle picked up the bag when he found it abandoned on a bench. Taylor’s uncle planned on bringing the bag back to the airport the next morning since he couldn’t find any security personnel as he was leaving.

"Mr. Taylor told me he had (the bag) in his possession and he knew I would be very upset and wanted to get the bag to me as soon as possible," Lazaro said. "Mr. Taylor took the time, with an infant in his car, to deliver the bag to me at the airport."

Lazaro said he feared the worst, but was "bursting with joy" when he discovered that nothing was missing from the bag except for a business card that Taylor had used to contact him.

"I explained to Orin that he not only made me ecstatic by returning my possessions, but more importantly that he restored by faith in mankind and reminded me that there are many good, decent and honest people in this world and in our community," Lazaro said. "Because of Orin, I will challenge myself to be less judgmental and will try to follow his example by being a better person."

Lazaro urged the parish to recognize Taylor and St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre gave him a special reward.

St. Charles Parish Civil Service Board Member
St. Charles Parish Civil Service Board Member "Jimmy" Breaux(far left), St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, Jr.(left), St. Charles Parish Courier Orin Taylor (center), St. Charles Parish Chief Operations Officer Bobby Donaldson (right) and St. C