A TEENAGER has thanked a street cleaner who found his stolen belongings - and gave them back to him.
Alex Towli, 19, of Bishops Road, Corringham, had his wallet, iPhone, iPod, house and car keys and £80 cash stolen while he was out with a friend on the Saturday before Christmas .
He feared thieves would target his home as his drivers licence and wallet gave his address away.
However, the following day he received a shock when his possessions were returned to him - having been found by a member of Thurrock Council’s street cleansing team.
The find was a triumph for Thurrock Chief Insp Ben Hodder who recently joined forces with the borough’s street cleaners saying he wanted them to be the “eyes and ears” for the police following a spike in burglaries in Corringham and Stanford-le-Hope.
Alex said: “I am so grateful to the team for finding my stuff as I was really worried knowing someone else could get into my parents home.
“I left the items in a bag in Corringham on The Manorway so to hear they were found in Stanford-le-Hope was surprising.
“We had the locks changed on the house straight away, but it is good to know there are people out there who will return items and not take them.”
The bag was found by Chris Milson in Wharf Road.
He is one of 80 street cleaners in the borough and covers Stanford and Corringham - he was delighted to have helped.
Chris, 51, who lives in Romford, said: “We want to keep the streets clean and tidy and if we can do a good deed like this along the way then it’s a bonus.
“I would like to think if my stuff had gone missing someone would do the same for me.”
Thurrock Chief Insp Ben Hodder said Operation Insight, which focuses on the crackdown of burglaries, is proving a success and much of it is down to the help of local people.
He said: “Burglaries are down every month compared to last year and all the extra help we get from the street teams is great news for us and Thurrock.”