TRADESMEN are often given a reputation by the media for overcharging and dishonesty.
But not Paul Ewen, who ignored the adage of "finders keepers" when he uncovered a treasure trove of jewellery
And now because of his honesty the owners of the jewellery, thought to have been stolen in domestic burglaries, may be reunited with their heirlooms.
Mr Ewen, 47, found the valuables in the yard of his dry rot treatment company Assured Preservations Ltd, in Stroud Road, Woodside, and handed it in to the Ashburton Safer Neighbourhoods Team.
He said: "I found a watch first, just behind the fence. Then I found a tangle of jewellery, all gold – it looked like it might be Indian.
"There were at least 30 items just dumped in the yard. I had no idea where it had come from.
"It all looked very expensive. I hope the police are able to return them to their owners.
"It would never have occurred to me to keep any of it. We left the gold in the office for a couple of days then managed to get it to the police. I still can't believe how much there was."
Police this week released images of a number of the recovered items.
Officers have checked recent burglary reports to identify the possible owners, but have so far been unable to identify to whom the items belong.
Detective Inspector Brian Hobbs, from Croydon CID said: "These items were handed to us by an honest member of the public who literally found them lying on the floor.
"It's more than likely they were stolen – probably during burglaries – so we're simply trying to identify the rightful owners and reunite them with their property.
"This also highlights the importance of people making a note and taking photos of their expensive jewellery items. If the worst happens and they are stolen, by having photos and a list and description of items, we can much more easily identify and reunite owners with property when we recover stolen goods.
"It also makes it easier for us to prove items have been stolen and prosecute those handling them as well."
Anyone with information or who recognises any of the items should call Croydon Police on 101.