NEWPORT BEACH : Maid Gets Reward for Returning Gems

Maria Jimenez, a maid at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Tennis Club, never thought twice about turning in the bag of jewelry valued at $100,000 she found stashed behind the draperies in Room 907.

On Sunday Jimenez got her reward, a $300 check and a 19-carat gold necklace from a grateful Shirley Wagner, the Beverly Hills woman who checked out of the hotel March 28 and left her uninsured jewelry behind.

Salvador Orozco, the hotel's housekeeping manager, said Jimenez opened the case in the room when she found it and saw that it contained valuables.

Through an interpreter, Jimenez, 23, who has worked at the hotel five years, said she promptly turned in the jewelry case to her supervisor because her mother raised her to be honest.

In the check presentation on Sunday, Wagner said she had brought the uninsured jewelry with her to the hotel because she was afraid that she might lose it at home should there be an earthquake.

But when Wagner checked out of the hotel, she forgot to retrieve the valuables from where she had placed them behind the drapes.

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