Woman returns purse to NSU professor with priceless item inside

Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-19 18:57:22-04

A Good Samaritan found a stolen purse and returned it to a local college professor.  Yes, the money was gone, but there was something more valuable inside.

That professor set up a lunch at a Town Center coffee shop in Virginia Beach to help reward the good deed.

Norfolk State University professor Dr. Carol Pretlow was very eager to surprise her new friend, Marsha Brunswick. When we walked into the Daily Grind, she was literally at a loss for words.

Marsha thought she was just being treated to lunch for her good deed, but Dr. Pretlow had also sent me an email. And I had her read a portion of it. "I was contacted by a wonderful woman who found my purse. She didn't want to accept the minimal reward I offered her.  She actually had to be convinced to accept it."

Now this all started a few weeks ago when Dr. Pretlow was robbed. She had finished her day at Norfolk State. She was at the Brambleton Avenue Light rail Station waiting for her train when she was approached by a guy who was trying to rob her. Dr. Pretlow was not harmed, but did give up her purse which the thief later discarded. Later it was discovered just a few hundred yards away by Marsha who was about to catch a bus home but knew she had to stop and take action. She was able to eventually track down Dr. Pretlow by Googling the ID information found in the purse and traced the professor to NSU.

As a result, we presented Marsha with a NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action award plus a $100 Visa gift card from our community sponsor Southern Bank. Marhsa was genuinely surprised.  "Wow, wow! thank you so much!"  But Dr. Prelow was quick to point out, "You don`t know how much that meant to me; it wasn`t the wallet, my dad`s picture was in there. That`s the only picture I could carry around with me, and I call my parents my angel spirits.  So that spirit meant something to me."