A TERMINALLY ill man was left distraught after a bag containing thousands of pounds he had saved to pay for a family Christmas was stolen.
But in a bizarre twist, some of the money and a valuable piece of jewellery were then anonymously returned in a jiffy bag.
Trevor Pollitt, who has lung cancer and is still struggling to cope with the sudden death of his 30-year-old son two years ago, withdrew about £2,500 last week to pay for food and presents for his family over the festive season.
However, the 67-year-old left his bag, which contained the money and a gold chain with boxing gloves on it – a gift from his wife worth another £3,000 – in a trolley at the Elmers End Tesco last Wednesday.
His wife, Karen, told the Advertiser: "He was picking his grandson up from school and stopped in Tesco to buy a few things.
"He put his bag in the trolley and left without it. It took him ten minutes to realise – he's really ill and sometimes not all there – and when he went back it was gone."
The couple, of Stroud Green Way, Shirley reported the loss to the police, but had little hope of the bag's return until a jiffy bag arrived in the post on Monday.
But the parcel only contained the gold chain, £900 in cash, Mr Pollitt's freedom pass and driving licence. His bank card and the remaining money was missing.
"Each thing was in a separate envelope in this jiffy bag so they really sifted through things and decided to keep about £1,500," Mrs Pollitt said.
"I'm so angry and it makes no sense. I would always hand something I found into the police, it's the right thing to do."
Mrs Pollitt has appealed for the person to return all the cash and her husband's bank card.
"We struggle as it is and really struggled to save that money for Christmas and now it's gone," she said. "Someone horrible out there has his bag without thinking about what it must be like for him."
She said the incident had upset her grandson Jordan, who just wanted his grandfather's bag returned to him at Christmas.
She added: "My husband feels like he's let me down at Christmas. We're only just getting over losing our son two years ago and now this happens."
Their son, Lee, was a well-known stable groom who was found dead at his sister Trevvena's home in New Addington in 2011 at the age of 30.
Police confirmed the couple had reported the lost bag and its contents last Wednesday, as well as the bizarre return of some of the cash this week.
However, they said they could not give the incident a crime reference as there was no evidence that someone had stolen the bag.