Jun 19, 2012, 07:10 PM
Ring return - Need opinions
So I had a bit up luck in the lake and pulled up a diamond engagement ring. Not huge or expensive, but still I want to get it back to its owner. I call the lifeguard shack and ask if anyone posted a lost ring. They bounce me to the park office that asks me to describe the ring and then say yes, someone called about it, but they can't give me a phone number. They want me to bring it in to them. I guess I don't trust that the ring will really get back to the owner but will end up in the pocket of a park worker. I have posted it on Craig's list but nothing.
What do you all think? Turn it it and take a chance or hang onto it? Or?
Jun 19, 2012, 07:25 PM
Good deal on finding the ring.What I would do is give my phone number to the park office and have the park office pass your number to the owner so the owner can contact you directly.If thats not acceptable to the park people then you got ya a ring for your collection.
Good luck with it all............................................... .............
Jun 19, 2012, 10:22 PM
Susan, what state are you in? The problem with what Steveo is saying (as logical as it sounds), is it is illegal, in I believe all states. The rangers could "call you to the carpet on it", if they wanted. The park workers can refuse to be the "middle man" for you, and can tell you that "legally" you HAVE to give it to them (or the police in the case of being found in a municipal city owned park/beach, etc...).
Here's the rationale that most md'rs are not aware of: All states have "lost and found" laws, that were born out of wandering cattle laws of the 1800's. Simply put, if you find an item over a given value (usually something like $100 to $200, depending on each state's wording), you are obliged to turn it in the police. You would only get the item back, if no one claims the item in 30 days. The law makes no distinction on when YOU think an item was lost. The rationale is simple, because otherwise, if the door to a Brinks armored car swung open, and wads of cash fell out, passerbys could merely say "I found it", and have no obligation to seek out an owner. Or if your neighbors cow wandered out of a hole in the fence, you can't simply keep it.
So "technically", all of us md'rs are running afoul of this, anytime you/we find an item that exceeds the value threshold of whatever your state's law is. All those beach hunters who accumulate bulk gold melt value, technically were required to turn in all their gold rings, and only get them back if no one steps forward. And it gets complicated, because when a value reaches a certain threshold (I think $250 or more, in CA, for instance), the police will even run a "found" ad in the local paper, asking prospective persons to come in to the station to describe a lost item. Still, if no one claims the item, and you go in after 30 days to pick it up, guess who has to pay for the cost of the ad?? YOU DO! (at least for CA law, and other states may have similar wording).
And yes Susan, I too would wonder if they would merely pocket the item, by merely picking up the phone, calling their uncle Fred, and saying "hey Fred, you want a nice rolex? come down to the station and describe a rolex matching such & such description, and presto, you'll have yourself a nice rolex". Now I KNOW this sounds low down and dastardly, BUT THINK OF IT: to the police (or ranger or whatever), it's NOT YOURS to begin with. You only FOUND IT. So you haven't lost anything if someone claims it, and you turned it in to them with full knowledge that someone might claim it. So to them, "what have you lost?". See ?
So Susan, now that you have inquired of them, you might find yourself in a pickle, that if you refused to "turn it in to them", they could (if they wanted) pursue you, since you have voluntarily given this much info. so far. Although they probably wouldn't. However, if it truly is a case of someone alerting them to a ring loss, then you can't fault them for demanding you give it to them. And no, they may not have any obligation to tell you who they give it to (because of privacy laws or whatever).
This gets pretty deep, and tangled in laws and bureaucracy, and has left many md'rs to simply not make an attempt to re-unite un-marked jewelry. For example: a buddy of mine found a class ring, freshly lost, at a school yard (got the signal, parted the grass, and it was right there, so he knew it was a recent loss). He sluethed out the owner, who it turned out, lived only a few blocks from him, since both houses were near this school yard. He called the house, got a voicemail, and left a message to the effect: "hey, I found your class ring, if you want it back, give me a call", and he left a call-back #. That night, guess who showed up at my friend's door as his family sat down for dinner?? THE POLICE! Turns out there'd been a burglary at the house, in the preceding week, and that ring had been one of the items missing. And my friend's voice-mail sounded like some sort of extortion attempt or something. Try as my friend did, to tell the police "I found it with a metal detector", they didn't seem interested to hear. They merely took it (I guess to reunite with the owner), and my friend never even got a thankyou, or no-thankyou, or kiss my *ss from anyone. For days afterwards, he didn't even know if he was somehow suspect for the break-in, or what. The neighbor never came over to acknowledge or anything, and my friend had a feeling as if he was in trouble now or something.
So you can see it gets sticky. Even posting on CL can be sticky, because technically, the police can watch that venue, and "call you to the carpet" for posting an item that exceeds a certain value, since *technically* you are supposed to turn items in to them, NOT make your "own attempts". Wierd huh? I had that happen, when I posted a pair of freshly lost prescription glasses found on the beach. I figured "they're worth more to the person who lost them, than to me", so instead of just pitching them, I figured I'd run a found ad (as perhaps it would net a tip afterall ) My ad even said "found with metal detector on such & such beach". The next day, I had an email in my box from the police dept. of that city! They asked if my glasses fit such & such description. Turns out, mine weren't a match with the pair that someone had come into their department reporting as "lost". But what concerned me, was the followup in that email from that police person saying something to the effect: "In the future, we would appreciate it if you would bring all the items you find with your metal detector, and put them in the lost & found after-hours slot at the station here [it is a touristy small town] in order to be in compliance with the law, since we frequently get tourist reporting lost items" That last part is what had me scratching my head. I researched what it was they were talking about, and that's when I became aware of laws on the books, that they were talking about.
Originally Posted by SusanMN
Last edited by Tom_in_CA; Jun 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM.
Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!
Jun 19, 2012, 10:52 PM
what hath god wrought
I dug up a top quality 1.5 carat brilliant set in a 18k prong style, plain but valuable. I did not try to find the owner, it was not layin on top, it was deep, and even if it was engraved, I know that it would be, for lack of a better word, foolish to try to find the owner. I would have less hassle just turning it into the police, but that aint gonna happen of course. I found and returned one class ring, engraved with name, the girl soiled herself, she had not seen it in seventeen years, that experience means more to me than the stupid monetary value of the unmarked diamond ring. Oh well, everyone has a different view of morality. I hope I did not offend. Sincerely, gleaner.
Federal Bureau of Governmental Redundancy Reduction Agency
Jun 19, 2012, 11:49 PM
Diamond rings are lost all the time.
No telling if you found the one claimed lost or someone elses.
Ask the life guard to arrange a meeting at their station with the party claiming the loss. Advise the life guard to tell the claimant that proper ID of the ring will be necessary (picture, ring size, setting, cut, size of stone, engraved letters, etc.) Without a match: no deal. And don’t bring the ring with you. You might even tell a fib by saying it’s with your attorney. Then arrange another meeting with the claimant to hand her the ring if her ID checks out.
Jun 20, 2012, 12:20 AM
what hath god wrought
Just turn it into the police or lifeguard or anyone of higher authority, as found property, as most local laws dictate. It's as simple as it gets. An added plus, you wont have to deal with anybody anymore, and you wont have to deal with your concience. You would have done the right thing. Now go out and find another one.
Federal Bureau of Governmental Redundancy Reduction Agency
Jun 20, 2012, 02:23 AM
IT COULD BE A VALUABLE PRIZE "YOU NEVER KNOW"
All i can say is that if you go through all this for a ring you found....... Then you should not hunt beaches......You give it a try now it is yours............. I would never give it to to the park people or police.......... And quit telling so many people about it... It is now yours.............
".. Let no one know what , when , or where .."
Jun 20, 2012, 07:24 AM
After seeing what Tom had to say,I'de say you better turn that ring in .They already know you have it and it sounds like it could turn out to be a real mess for you and it just doesn't seem worth the trouble.
I wish ya luck on this and if you got anything out of this,including myself is a education on the laws of lost and found items.I will for sure check out the laws in my state so if I ever run into anything like this I will know how to deal with it correctly............................
Jun 20, 2012, 08:16 AM
I know on no law in Fl that requires you to give it to a park ranger, there may be I just don't know of it, I would give them my phone number and tell them to have person call me. I would give it to the police before I would a park ranger.
They still have to identify it, they can't just look at it and say that's mine, most rings are made in the hundreds and sold in chain stores.
If someone lost a ring and can identify it I return it, have on several occasions, I would never refuse to return a ring to the rightful owner, they just have to identify it with out my showing it to them.
Jun 20, 2012, 10:37 AM
Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!
Take LOTS of pics then demand a receipt BEFORE handing it over. That way you can trace the return of the ring or proove the theft by authorities. Make sure you get the press involved. Makes some people get honest quick! TTC
Beat me, cut me, kill me. But please don't bore me.
Jun 20, 2012, 11:11 AM
Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.
I agree with all Tom in CA had to say about it in spades! Most states require you to turn over anything of value to either the police or park rangers and you get no receipt.. If the rangers were on the up and up they could give you the phone number of the party that lost it. By not doing so they could also claim any reward that was offered. You learn a lot with finding stuff for over 30 plus years.
It is best to just ask rangers or beach managers if anything was lost and a description in case you found it. If no phone number or the person that lost it is not forth coming, the ring is YOURS. People that don't want their number given out for lost items have already claimed it with their insurance company. By all means return something if you know the owner, but don't just turn things in to Rangers. By most laws they don't even have to notify the person that lost it that it was found.
One sweet trick some Claudian girls do is when they have a family picnic at a beach is to report their engagement ring is lost in the swim area. Boo Hoo they cry. I've been called many times for these "lost rings." What the girl does is just claim she lost the ring and the whole family chips in to buy her a new bigger ring as they want to impress the other side of the family. When I am called to find these rings I charge $50 bucks just for showing up paid in advance for two hours searching. I usually find different rings which I keep. Sometimes I have really found the girls lost ring and all are happy in the family.
Last edited by Sandman; Jun 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
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"TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."
Jun 20, 2012, 11:39 AM
Good idea on asking ahead of time at parks if "anyone has lost any jewelry in case I find any". That way you know ahead of time if any jewelry has been reported lost.
Jun 20, 2012, 12:44 PM
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your opinions and all the useful info.
Jun 20, 2012, 08:14 PM
Hope it works out ok for you!! The owner should be grateful that you sought them out and asked all these people for advise as to how to get it back to them and not just some free loader!! HH!
Jun 24, 2012, 10:23 AM
I have to agree with Keppy on this 1!! Nobody is paying me to spend my time detecting to find their lost items!!! And I wouldn't expect anyone to give something of mine back that I had lost, wether it be of great value or not! Because it's very likely it's not going to get back in the hands of the original owner. Not enough honest people in the world these days! Ntm, if you hadn't found it, it would still be buried & not even an issue. It would be wayyyy easier taking it to a pawn shop & get sum cash out of it, instead of going through all these different things trying to find the owner. Your intentions are good, but sounds like its turned into a big fat mess that has only caused you unnecessary stress.
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