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24/04/2018 13:16 SAST | Updated 24/04/2018 13:16 SAST

Woman Hails Police Officer For Finding Her Handbag

She was assisted by a policeman known only as Vincent.

The helpful policeman is known to De Witt only as 'Vincent'.
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The helpful policeman is known to De Witt only as 'Vincent'.

Isma de Witt's worst nightmare happened this weekend, when she flew back to Johannesburg from Plettenberg Bay with a group of friends.

She forgot her bag on the aircraft, and thought it would be impossible to get it back.

"I was chatting to my friends and in the chaos and the fun and laughing, I completely forgot my handbag under the seat. I was carrying boxes of product [for her beauty parlour] and my laptop and suitcases, and as soon as I got to the station the lady told me "Sorry ma'am, you have just missed the last train'," she said.

The nail technician decided to have a quick cigarette while she decided what to do... and that is when she realised her bag was missing.

"So I immediately ran inside [OR Tambo International Airport] and asked the information counter, 'Where must I go and I have a problem, I left my handbag on the plane?' You know a women's handbag is her life."

He kept me so calm, It was nice to see, because as he was helping me, he was still helping other people as well.

She was sent to various counters, but made no progress finding her Polo bag.

"By the third counter, I lost it – it's a big airport." She went to to the airline supervisor's office, but could not find the supervisor. "And I just burst into tears," De Witt said.

A hysterical De Witt spotted a police officer at one of the counters.

"Eventually Vincent found [the supervisor], and the first thing they said was 'Ma'am, we need your boarding pass' – and I just burst out again." Her boarding pass was inside the bag.

"He kept on telling me 'Don't worry, you will be fine, don't cry'. He spoke to some of the security guards, and then 20 minutes later the guy had the bag," she said.

She says her bag was exactly as she had left it – "not even a R5 coin was missing".

De Witt is full of praise for Vincent, who helped her so efficiently.

"He kept me so calm. It was nice to see, because as he was helping me, and he was still helping other people as well."

She describes the policeman as "extremely modest", and says she does not even know his surname.

"I said 'Let me take a photo of you'. He didn't want me to. He said "No ma'am, don't worry about it.' That is why in the photo you see he is laughing – because he is walking away and I am trying to take a photo of him."

"He said: 'No ma'am, it is my job. It's okay, you do not have to thank me.'"