When your passport is stolen, the last thing you’d expect the thief to do is to take the time to mail it back to you. But that’s what happened to one US tourist vacationing in England in May, according to the BBC.

The tourist, a 73-year-old woman, was waiting with her husband for a train to the airport when a young man stole her handbag, which contained a little over $8,000 worth of jewels.

The woman replaced her stolen passport at the US Embassy and continued home, only to receive her stolen passport in the mail, along with her driver’s license, about five days later.

You just have to marvel at how someone could steal a handbag, keep $8,000 worth of jewelry, and yet take the time to send back the victim’s driver’s license and passport!

Of course, when you report a stolen passport, the original passport is invalidated, but at least the woman can still look over the visa stamps in the back. However, the sentimental value of the passport pales in comparison to that of the jewelry that was taken, according to the BBC:

“The valuables had “enormous sentimental value” to the victim and losing them had caused her “a great deal of distress”, British Transport Police said.”

If you lose your passport overseas, you have to apply for a new one at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Making a copy of the identification pages of your passport and stashing them somewhere separate from the original will expedite the replacement process. When you apply for an emergency replacement for a stolen passport overseas, the Embassy generally issues it quite quickly so as to minimize further disruptions to your travel plans.

However, be aware that if your passport is stolen in the US, you’ll need to apply in person at the nearest passport acceptance office, and it can at least 6 weeks for your replacement to arrive in the mail. You can expedite your application by paying an additional $60 expedite fee, but this only reduces the processing time to three weeks.

For the fastest possible service, you can make an appointment at the nearest regional passport agency location. However, there are only 24 of these offices serving the entire country, so you may have to travel a good distance to get to one. The more convenient option is to use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. We personally deliver your passport application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.

Replace your stolen passport quickly today!