Dubai Police Hails Starbucks Employee for Honesty for Returning Customer's Bag Full of Cash

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A Starbucks employee is being hailed as a “true example of honesty” after she returned a customer’s bag containing cheques and a huge amount of cash.

Mae Anne Olmidillo from Philippines, who works as a branch manager at the Starbucks outlet in Dubai Mall, was honored by the Dubai police in presence of her coworkers on August 29.

The bag also contained a cheque book and some documents.

The 27-year-old said that she and a barista Rosslyn Nini spotted the bag on April 18.

"It is our protocol to check what’s inside the bag first in order to know whom to return it to, but we can only do it with a witness and on camera. I immediately alerted my district manager and our loss-prevention officer on what to do next,” Olmidillo, who has been in Dubai for six years, told Gulf News.

Olmidillo and her coworkers were shocked when they opened the bag: it contained Dh195,000(approx. Rs 38 lakh) in cash, two cheques for Dh500,000(approx. Rs 97 lakh) and Dh6,250 (approx. Rs 12 lakh) and some documents.

“We waited for the customer to come back to the cafe to collect it, but no one came. So I immediately called the police to report the matter and we turned it over to police officials at the Bur Dubai Police station so they could locate the owner,” she added.

The owner, a Russian broker, collected the bag from the police station.

“Dubai Police officials told me that the value of contents of the bag was more than Dh200,000 because there were title deeds and other important documents. The bag, they said, belongs to a Russian broker,” she said.

“I stayed at the police station until the owner arrived. He thanked me for returning the bag to him. He said he was very tired and sleepy that day and was unaware of what had happened.”

Colonel Rashid Mohammad Al Shehi, deputy director of Bur Dubai police station, called Olmidillo “a true example of honesty.”

“I call on residents and citizens to follow Mae Anne’s example if they ever find themselves in a similar situation,” he was quoted as saying.

Olmidillo said the recognition was a “great honour for my colleague and for me as a Filipino.”

She said she didn’t think twice of returning the bag to the owner as she believed in “the Golden Rule ‘Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.’”