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May 27, 2010

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Taxi driver's an 'unsung hero'

WITHOUT the kindness of a passing cabbie, Robert Cassidy is sure he never would have gotten his valuables back.

Cassidy, a captain with China Eastern Airlines, wrote a letter to Shanghai Daily to extend his enormous "recognition and praise" to a local Expo taxi driver whom he hailed as the kind of "unsung hero" who goes "unnoticed for his good deeds."

The good samaritan, Qin Xinhua, will be rewarded, said the cabbie's company, Shanghai Bashi Taxi Co.

On Monday Cassidy and his wife hailed a taxi home about 7:20pm on Fuzhou Road. Cassidy placed the camera equipment, valued at more than US$7,500, on the front seat, closed the front door and stepped back onto the curb to wait for his wife to arrive.

The driver suddenly sped off.

"The equipment is very important to me," said Cassidy who is also a photographer.

He chased the cab for a block, running down the middle of the street, yelling and waving arms.

Qin's cab was going down the street at the same time, keeping pace with Cassidy.

"The foreigner ran fast but was out of breath then," said Qin, who doesn't speak English but knew something urgent had happened.

Cassidy jumped in his cab and Qin drove straight ahead. They caught up with the first cab when it stopped for a red light.

Cassidy rushed over, opened the taxi door and grabbed his equipment.

"You should have seen the surprised look on his face," he said.

Cassidy let the cabbie go without reporting him to the police.

Qin then circled back to pick up Cassidy's wife and drive the grateful pair home.

"I can see the tears in his eyes," Qin said.

Qin left without the giving his name, but Cassidy managed to note down his job number as well as take the driver's photo.

"He is really a nice guy," said Cassidy who gave Qin 100 yuan without asking for the change.

The 48-year-old driver has been driving a taxi for seven years.


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