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Airport Cleaner Patrick Morgan Returns iPad And $13,000, Gives Away Reward Money (VIDEO)

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CBS Miami
CBS Miami

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Miami International Airport may top the nation in TSA agent theft and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport may be full of sticky-fingered passengers poised to pounce on anything not bolted down, but there's at least one honest man out there.

Wednesday the Broward County Aviation Department honored Patrick Morgan for not only returning an iPad a traveller left behind at an airport bar -- but for turning in the $13,000 cash that was stuffed inside the case.

Watch the CBS Miami video above.

"I opened it first and I see the money and I closed it back," Morgan, a cleaning service worker at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, told NBC6.

After Morgan gave the tablet and money to airport officials, he noticed a frantic passenger come running back to the bar. 'Don't worry. It's OK," Morgan reportedly told the man, who had just returned from a fruitful trip to Las Vegas, according to Local 10.

The passenger was so grateful he immediately gave Morgan $60, which the airport employee later gave to others in need, including a homeless woman.

“She was there, I always see her here overnight. She needed money for the bus so I gave her $40 and the other $20 to an employee,” Morgan told CBS Miami.

Morgan's employer Sunshine Cleaning Systems gave the father-of-three a plaque, $625, and an extra week of paid vacation.

"Patrick is such an outstanding and honest person. What he did speaks volumes about his personality. We are so happy to have someone working with us who is setting such a great example,” said Larry Calufetti, President of Sunshine Cleaning Systems.

But not all airport staff are so honest. Last month, ABC reporters left a series of iPads behind at 10 different airports around the country; one was not returned. The crew tracked it to the home of a TSA agent, who denied he had taken the iPad until reporter Brian Ross remotely set off its alarm.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the results of ABC's iPad experiment. One of the bait iPads was stolen; the others were returned.

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