A de­lighted mother has been mirac­u­lously re­united with her hand­bag con­tain­ing £ 250 - seven years af­ter it was stolen.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By KenMcEr­lain ken. mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @ PTKenMcEr­lain

Mum- of - t hree Parveen Ashraf, of Cresta Drive, Wer­ring­ton, had long since given up hope offind­ing her cream and black Fiorelli hand­bag af­ter it was stolen by op­por­tunis­tic thieves in 2006.

But when work­men from Peter­bor­ough ser­vice provider firm En­ter­prise were clear­ing a bush bed in nearby Church Street last month they stum­bled across it.

The hand­bag con­tained per­sonal be­long­ings pro­vid­ing them with a clue to the owner and their ad­dress – and in­cred­i­bly, £ 250 in damp £ 20 notes.

One of the crew mem­bers, Ian Lil­ley, walked to Mrs Ashraf’s ad­dress which was found on doc­u­ments in­side the bag. As she was not in, the bag was left with a neigh­bour to pass on.

Mrs Ashraf, a 47- year- old chef, said: “I am amazed to have got my hand­bag back it really is a mir­a­cle.

“When I saw the money was still in­side I was stunned, the notes were damp and cov­ered in grit but I was able to get them changed at the bank and treated my kids to a meal at a restau­rant.”

Mrs Ashraf ’ s hand­bag was stolen af­ter thieves en­tered her kitchen while she was un­load­ing shop­ping from her car.

In­side the bag was her purse con­tain­ing £ 20in­cash and her credit cards, but the £ 250 was tucked in­side a plas­tic wal­let.

Mrs Ashraf added: “They took my purse but missed the £ 250 and then dumped it in a bush.

“I re­mem­ber I had quite un­usu­ally a lot of cash in it, as it was just be­fore my hus­band’s 50th birth­day.

“What’s really spe­cial, not only it came back in­tact with all the money and doc­u­ments but also with a lit­tle prayer that I used to carry around on a card - I think some­one up there was watch­ing over the hand­bag,

“I would like to thank Ian Lil­ley and his team , it’s good to know there are still hon­est peo­ple in the world.

The crew have been com­mended by their man­agers for hon­esty and go­ing ‘ the ex­tra mile’.

Richard Old­field, En­ter­prise Peter­bor­ough gen­eral man­ager, said: “The crew mem­bers: Ian Lil­ley, Arthur Fisher, Joe Bru­denell and Michael Carter have been awarded with shop­ping vouch­ers for the ir­righ­teous­ness.

“When things are mis laid, lost or even stolen, it’s great to be able to help the com­mu­nity when we are out and about, mak­ing Peter­bor­ough look fine.”

Mr Old­field added that the most com­monly found items are hand­bags, purses and bank cards.

If the owner is iden­ti­fied and re­sides within rea­son­able dis­tance crews de­liver to them, oth­er­wise found items are handed in to the po­lice.

Parveen Ashraf with the hand­bag that she feared she would never see again

The hand­bag and Parveen with Ian Lil­ley of En­ter­prise

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