Woman pleasantly surprised as stranger finds and returns her bag

2014-03-20 00:00

EVERY now and then, human compassion and honesty can surprise you.

That was the view of a Pietermaritzburg woman who was rescued by a stranger when she forgot her handbag — containing valuable documents — in a trolley while shopping at Liberty Midlands Mall.

On finishing her shopping on Monday, Thea Paine had loaded her goods into her car and driven off, leaving her handbag that contained her ID book, bank statements and other important documents behind.

Fortunately for her, another shopper, Wayne Kolm, found the handbag and ensured that it was returned intact to its owner.

Kolm said there was nothing special in what he had done, just common decency. He said he had only done what was expected of him and all other people. “People forget or lose things, and if you find it you should return it to the owner.”

He said he had been parking his car when he saw a bag at the trolley holding area and took it with him. “I wanted to give it back to the owner and not anyone else because it could have been fiddled with,” he said.

Kolm took the bag to his wife, who found Paine’s son’s details inside and contacted him. A worried Paine was soon reunited with her bag.

“I had left the Midlands shopping centre and got to Makro when I realised that I had left my handbag in the trolley. On my way back I just kept praying that some good human being had found my bag,” she said.

When she arrived back at the mall, her heart sank. “The trolley was exactly where I had left it, but my handbag was missing.”

She said her son later received a call from Kolm’s wife, telling him where his mother’s handbag was.

“I was so impressed … I went to his workplace to thank him and felt like crying, and he too almost cried.

“Every day we hear of bad things happening, but there are always people out there who surprise us,” said Paine.

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