A COUPLE who lost a bag full of their possessions were overjoyed when it suddenly arrived in the post a few days later.

Jeremy and Sally Weaving were delighted that someone had taken the trouble to fish out their address, parcel up their belongings and pop them in the mail.

But their joy turned to shock when they discovered that the sender had kept their camera as a “reward” for returning the other items.

The writer, a woman who had lost her own camera, said people had to pay for their mistakes and told the couple to regard it as a travel expense.

She gave a false address and signed herself: “A good Samaritan – but not that good.”

The couple, of Pentridge Way, Totton, mislaid their bag at Bournemouth Airport after returning from a twoweek holiday in Italy.

It contained their passports, Mr Weaving’s driving licence, a small amount of money and a Panasonic Lumix camera worth £150.

Mrs Weaving said: “When we realised the bag was missing my husband drove straight back to the airport in the hope that it had been handed in but to no avail.

“To make matters worse he was due to go to France three days later to take part in a 600-mile charity bike ride.

“He began the task of trying to secure an emergency passport. After a lot of phoning and a £130 bill he was able to get one from Newport in Wales, which involved a six-hour round trip.

“You can imagine our surprise when a large parcel arrived at our house.

“I thought ‘hooray – good people really do exist’ – but things weren’t that simple. The passports, driving licence and money were all there but the camera wasn’t. In its place were the memory stick and a letter from the finder.

“My reaction was twofold – relief at having my documents returned and shock at the liberty which had been taken with my possessions.

“If the person had done the right thing by handing the bag in at the airport a lot of anguish would have been avoided – not to mention £130 and an impromptu trip to Wales.

“Call me old fashioned but I always thought a reward was given, not stolen.”

Mr Weaving, a 54-year-old computer programmer, contacted Dorset police, who are treating the incident as theft.

“The writer gave an address in Bournemouth – but the number turned out to be false,” he said.

The Letter

“I tripped on your bag on the road, near the exit of the car park, but there was no one to return it to. I waited 15 minutes, then took it home.

“I am now returning the bag with the passports and your driver’s licence, avoiding you a lot of paperwork and unnecessary expense, as I experienced last year in Spain when my handbag was snatched and my husband and I lost our documents, camera (14MPX), mobile phone and other personal items with much inconvenience.

“I am sure your gratitude will extend to let me keep the camera (I never did replace mine) as a reward.

You will find the memory card with this letter so you can still see your holiday snaps. Hope you won’t find my decision too harsh but often we have to pay for our mistakes (like paying for a fine for speeding) and look at the whole incident as a travel expense.

“A good Samaritan…but not that good.”