A woman who thought she’d lost three big bags of presents after celebrating her 60th birthday was overjoyed to be reunited with them – thanks to Safer Neighbourhoods Acting Sergeant Kevin Monk.

The woman had travelled home with friends in one of three cabs after enjoying a night out at the United Services Club, Carshalton Road, Sutton, on Friday, 21 October.

But after returning to her home in Streatham, she found that three of the four bags containing presents had been left in one of cabs, which had driven off.

She reported the presents as lost or stolen to police.

But the woman needn’t have worried because Sutton West Acting Sgt Monk picked up the enquiry and proceeded to painstakingly pick his way through a catalogue of mix-ups surrounding the party booking which had been arranged by the woman’s friends.

The confusion included a mix-up over venues, cab firms, the number of cabs and therefore the number of drivers involved, and even the date of the party.

Acting Sgt Monk explained: “I wanted to do my very best for this member of the public. After lots of running around I managed to track down the three bin liners full of gifts and took them back to her home. She was very surprised and overjoyed.”

Acting Sgt Monk reunited the woman with her presents on Monday, 14 November – the day after he recovered the presents, which included lots of perfume and gift cards.