WWYD: The Found Ring

In this installment of “What Would You Do,” a valuable ring is found on the street. Here’s Katie:

I work near a lot of jewelers and found a ring on the street outside my office. It’s probably not an engagement or wedding ring, but it does have some semiprecious stones on it. I posted about it on Craigslist and didn’t get any responses that even remotely described the ring. Some friends said I should turn it into the police, but 1) my experiences with the Chicago Police Department do not inspire much faith 2) I called 311 and the cop said “honestly, it’ll probably sit in our evidence vault for six months, then get auctioned off. We don’t have a system for matching loss reports with our inventory” (??!). I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. Can I ethically sell it, Billfold readers?

“’We don’t have a system for matching loss reports with our inventory’ (??!).” My thoughts exactly. I mean: What? If a house was robbed, and the owner reported missing jewelry, there would be no system in place to get that jewelry back to its owner if that jewelry turned up in the police department’s evidence vault? This makes absolutely no sense to me. I would have gone to the police department to confirm what the police officer said over the phone. Maybe it’s just a Chicago PD thing, but when my friend got his laptop stolen a few years ago in New York, he reported it stolen and had a photo of it with identifiable stickers on it. The police were able to recover it after arresting a robbery suspect, and were able to return it to him promptly.

But, hey, you got in touch with the police. You took the time to create a Craigslist posting. If nobody claims it, it’s yours, just like any other unclaimed item you found on the street. But I’d hold on to it for a while before selling it.

During the holidays, an editor at the BBC tweeted that his home was burgled, and that a thief made off with his late wife’s engagement ring. Reading his series of tweets was pretty heartbreaking:

Burgled last night. My beloved late wife’s 1920’s engagement & wedding rings taken.Naive to think they might turn up, but…

— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 20, 2012

The theft of my darling late wife’s 1920’s engagement ring. Would be wonderful if it turned up hamhighbroadway.co.uk/news/crime-cou… @broadwayhamhigh

— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 20, 2012

So sorry to bore you about this, but this is best pic of my darling late wife’s stolen engagement ring and wedding band twitter.com/Peston/status/…

— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 20, 2012

Thieves also took was my late wife’s 5-year old Toshiba Equium laptop. It has nil monetary value, priceless fo me.Bit blue this morning

— Robert Peston (@Peston) December 22, 2012

There probably isn’t a heartbreaking story behind this ring, but my god how amazing would it be to make someone like Peston’s day? I’d hold on to it for a little bit longer.

Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.

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