May 1, 2016
Purse Stolen 14 Years Ago Returned To Shocked Owner

A purse thought to have been lost in the sands of time, or at least to a thief, was returned to its owner after 14 years missing.

The purse, almost untouched, was returned to Lisa Hall Mazzaglia, a resident of Seabrook, New Hampshire, after it was stolen from her over a decade ago, according to UPI.

Mazzaglia remembers the day it was stolen like it was yesterday. In December, 2002, she was shopping for some Christmas presents to donate to charity when she turned her back for a minute. Her purse was stolen from her cart as she was loading items into her car when she wasn't looking, and she figured she had lost the purse, which contained a wallet, some receipts, and other items, for good.

The long lost purse was found in a trash bin at Market Basket in Seabrook by an employee who then turned the purse over to the Seabrook police.

"We sent an officer to retrieve it and the officer came back and we returned it to Ms. Mazzaglia," Seabrook Deputy Chief Brett Walker said. "I don't think there was anything missing, aside from the cash."

Walker explained the statute of limitations expired, so no one could be charged with any crime for stealing the purse 14 years ago.

No one will be arrested for the crime of stealing the purse, since the statute of limitations has passed. (Photo by Shutterstock)

The wallet in the purse held Mazzaglia's old driver's license, and that's how police knew how to contact the woman.

The police called Mazzaglia to tell her that they had her purse, but Mazzaglia thought it was a mistake.

"I figured it must've been a mistake, or perhaps I'd been the victim of identity theft," Mazzaglia wrote on Facebook. "I'll admit the thought of my stolen purse from years back crossed my mind, but I quickly dismissed it as a ridiculous thought."

When she found out it was the purse she had lost to a thief so many years ago, she was astonished to get it back basically left intact. Despite the money being stolen from her wallet, everything else seemed just like it was left in her purse in 2002.

"The bag was basically as it was 14 years ago. Wallet still stuffed with credit cards and ID's and receipts from my Christmas shopping done in previous weeks."
She even had a cell phone and a pager in the purse that hadn't been lost. In addition to those items, there was a camera and two undeveloped rolls of film, some makeup, and even some gum. The thief who originally stole the purse missed four dollars which was at the bottom of the purse.

The purse had some water damage because of its time travel through wherever it had been, but Mazzaglia thought that the purse was "in pretty good shape."

Mazzaglia wondered why someone had kept the purse as it was for so long, and why the person decided to suddenly throw it out after 14 years.

Mazzaglia wrote thoughtfully, "Such a strange thing to have happened. But thanks to the twists of fate and thoughtfulness of a Good Samaritan I got to open a 14 year old time capsule."

The purse stolen so long ago leaves many unanswered questions for Mazzaglia.

"I would love to know where it was, or why someone kept it for as long as they did," Mazzaglia said. "And why they decided to throw it away. There is a lot of little things that had to go just right, for it to get back to me. There is some reason for it but I don't know what is."

[Photo by Lisa Hall Mazzaglia/Facebook]