Jewelry returned to owner by staff
Published 7:00 am Friday, December 9, 2016
Valuable jewelry left in a purse bought from a local retailer was found by the employees, and returned to the rightful owner in a scenario that the customer called a “Christmas miracle.”
Picayune resident Etta Willcox bought a purse from the Dollar General in north Picayune earlier this week. After taking it home and putting her belongings in it, she found a couple of tears inside, leading her to bring it back for a refund.
Before returning the defective purse, she said she removed her personal items, but apparently overlooked a couple of her most valuable items.
The next day, on Wednesday, her husband got a call from an employee at the store, saying some of her belongings had been found in the purse she returned the day before.
The employee said the belongings were set aside in a safe place until Etta or her husband could retrieve them.
Dollar General Assistant Store Manager Kandy Hemlet said she found the items in the tears within the purse after it was returned. Hemlet said searching returned items is part of the store’s policy.
Store Manager Lisa Wake said it is also the store’s policy to record the name, phone number and address of the person returning an item, which is how staff got in touch with the couple to return the items.
Derek Willcox said he was unaware what he would be picking up.
“I was thinking it was Rolaids,” Derek Willcox said.
To his surprise the staff gave him back his grandmother’s necklace, appraised at $5,730 and a pearl necklace appraised at $2,000 in 2005.
Derek Willcox said his grandmother’s necklace was from the early 1900s and was handed down to him by his family, which he later gave to his wife Etta Wilcox.
Etta said she kept the items with her at all times because they are all she has left after battling stage four cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Due to her illness, she had to quit her job as a nurse.
Wednesday afternoon, Etta Wilcox went back to the store to thank the staff for returning the jewelry.