Man Given $15,000 Ring By Stranger

Status: Undetermined (reported in the news, but from an anonymous source)
It sounds like an urban legend. At the end of a work day a commuter returns to his car parked at the train station in Westborough, Massachusetts, only to realize he had left it unlocked all day. Miraculously, the car is still there, despite the numerous thefts in that area. But someone has been in his car, and they've left something: a box with a white ribbon on it, placed on the front seat. Inside is a diamond ring valued at $15,000, and a note: "Merry Christmas. Thank you for leaving your car door unlocked. Instead of stealing your car I gave you a present. Hopefully this will land in the hands of someone you love, for my love is gone now. Merry Christmas to you."

This story of remarkable generosity has been widely reported in the news. It's said to have occurred earlier this month, before Christmas. But like I said, the story has many traits of an urban legend: It fits the stereotype of the remarkable-act-of-kindness story that often circulates around the holiday time, and the name of the guy who received the ring is not known.

The Christian Science Monitor was a bit suspicious of the story, so they did some fact checking. But all they've been able to find out is that someone did report finding the ring in their car to the Westborough police. However, the name of the guy isn't being released. So this means that the story could have happened as reported, or maybe someone, for whatever reason, reported a false story to the police (maybe they thought people would enjoy hearing a nice story around Christmas). No way to know. But if the ring ends up on eBay, my vote is that the story is definitely bogus.


Posted on Fri Dec 30, 2005


The reporting style doesn't lend it the normal aura of urban myths. Easy enough to verify the given details, which is already being done...


#1 - the car is left unlocked in a high crime area
#2 - the box is left on the seat of said unlocked car, which is parked in a high crime area.

Why didn't some other punk notice the (probably visible, and highly festooned) box?
Posted by Bill  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  09:50 AM
Well, if the story is true, we don't know how long the box was sitting there. It could have been there for only five minutes before the car's owner found it.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  03:21 PM
What if the guy caught the ring-leaver?

"Hey, get out of my car!"
"I was just going to leave you this present!"
"Yeah, right, I'm calling the cops."
Posted by Ashley  in  Canada  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  09:25 PM
This sounds just like the guys who "Found" all that old cash when they dug up a back yard. They even were on The Today Show.

It turned out they stole the cash, and used the story to try to launder it.

First rule of a scam. Don't tell you story on TV where someone who knows the truth may see you.
Posted by Mo  on  Mon Jan 02, 2006  at  08:06 AM
There's one seious flaw to this story: while it is true that leaving your car unlocked at a subway station is a very unwise decision, the Westborough T station is not high crime. On the contrary, these suburb T-stations all over Massachusetts are merely parking lots where the train stops. They tend to be near super markets and other townie shops. I live 3 towns over from this station and have used many of the T stops in Massachusetts. It's highly unlikely anyone would check for open doors on cars as there's always a lot of people coming through on a near hourly basis. As to whether this guy with a ring is lying... no idea. However, there are a lot of romantic yuppies with spare money around here so I wouldn't be half suprised if it was true.
Posted by Heidi  on  Mon Jan 02, 2006  at  10:41 PM
"... there are a lot of romantic yuppies with spare money around here ..."

Hmm, how can I meet some of them?
Posted by Big Gary in North America  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Jan 03, 2006  at  04:34 PM
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