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Homeless Man Makes More Than $20,000 Re-Selling Discarded MetroCards

A Dollar Here And A Dollar There Have All Added Up For John Jones
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John Jones displays his stock of used MetroCards. (Credit:CBS2)

John Jones displays his stock of used MetroCards. (Credit:CBS2)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A straphanger in the Bronx claims that other riders’ discarded MetroCards are his own personal property.

CBS2’s Ann Mercogliano spoke with John Jones about how he is using the cards to make cash. Jones said that he regularly finds MetroCards with balances and that he has made a practice of re-selling them.

“Half of this stack was found in the past two days, over 100 cards and each card in this stack has a dollar or more on it,” he said Tuesday.

Jones is homeless and the cards provide him with a way to make some quick cash. He has made more than $20,000.

Many riders cast cards aside if they think that they have a zero balance, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority recommends that riders refill their cards as their balances get low.

One rider couldn’t get a reading when he swiped his card the first time and was about to throw it away.

“I probably would have thrown it away and there would have been money in it…four-fifty,” said William Cedeno of Ozone Park.

The MTA would not comment on Jones’ money-making operation but did say that, “The sale of fare media is prohibited by anyone except for employees … or others who are given written permission. We encourage customers to refill their MetroCards to get maximum value.”

Jones said that he has been arrested several times for selling the cards, but that he doesn’t plan on stopping.

The MTA said that last year there was $52 million in leftover, unused MetroCards.

What do you think, should Jones be able to keep selling the used cards, and would you buy one? Let us know in our comments section…

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