$10,000 violin found using GPS

CENTER CITY - November 21, 2009

He recovered an expensive violin he had forgotten and left in a cab and it was a GPS unit inside the cab that helped find it.

Will, the owner asked us not to use his last name, picked up a cab one Friday night at 30th Street to go to his home.

Leaving the cab, he managed to get his bag and the dinner he brought for his wife and kids, but he forgot his violin.

The distraught amateur musician made repeated efforts contacting cab companies, but nothing came of it.

Finally, someone suggested the parking authority which oversees and tracks Philadelphia cabs.

Using the authority's GPS system, they were able to identify the exact cab Will was in.

"They called me back one minute later and said they've spoken with the cab company. They have contacted the driver and within an hour and a half I had the violin," Will said.

The head of the parking authority says the driver at first didn't seem to have the instrument.

"Initially he was evasive and reluctant to come forward, but through the good efforts of our taxi inspectors they did the recovery," Executive director Vince Fenerty said.

A $10,000 violin is definitely a rare recovery, but with 1600 cabs, the GPS system is used to find all kinds of lost items.

"Half a dozen times a day, somebody calls, they left a cell phone, a camera, a lap top," Bob Black of the Philadelphia Parking Authority said.

Sometimes people don't call and the Parking Authority is left with the items like the abundant amount of cell phones they have in their possession. Today, a cabbie dropped off a suitcase someone forgot when then got out at 36th and Market Streets. The parking authority will now try to find its owner.

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