Kamo Tag | The Ring Finders

Commercial Keys Lost While Mowing in Whangarei- Found Two Days Later.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

Steve is a Lawnmowing Contractor who, after finishing a job returned to his truck only to find his keys had vanished.

He throughly searched the property, and even lifted two storm drain covers and fished around in the ooze with a rake to try and find them, with no luck.

Reluctantly he arranged to have his truck and mowing gear towed home.

On phoning the Automobile Association the AA chap had seen my other recent key recovery from the side of the highway and recommended that Steve contact me, not having considered the metal detecting aspect of recoveries Steve was quickly on the phone.

Despite being an hour and a half away, I drove down straight from work to sort his troubles.

Steve took me through where he had been – and showed me the two drain gratings right where he had been fussing around the truck…

With some careful questions, I was able to put the drains right at the bottom of the list, although I had the waterproof remote camera and the nitrile gloves onboard, just in case!

I started the systematic grid of the garden, I could tell Steve was watching me with a funny look.  The keys would have stood out easily on the manicured lawn, however the secret to success is to have a method, and stick to it rigidly. Nothing would be worse than having a no-find and starting to second guess where you may have missed them.

The formality of searching the back lawn was over very quickly.  I started around the edges where shrubs overhung the grass, progressively crossing areas off and working my way towards the front yard – and those drains…

Then I got a good signal from under a bush on the other side of the path, I peered under and there they were.

Job done, the keys were exchanged for a good handshake and I headed off on the long trip home.



Precious Gold Ring Found in Kamo Paddock

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

How do you find a ring in a paddock?
You call an experienced ringfinder.

Kareen was tidying up the house paddock with the scrubcutter and after returning to the house, she noticed the necklace her late mothers wedding ring had been threaded on was broken and hanging loose around her neck.
As you do, she headed straight back to the paddock to try and find the tiny gold ring.
And as you do, she had to give up after realising the area became impossibly huge when looking for a thin 3/4 inch diameter ring.

A work collegue later suggested she contact me.

Kareen needed to head south shortly after I arrived, and although she was happy for me to continue after she had gone I aimed to try and ensure she had the ring before she left.
She showed me the paddock, routes in and out and key locations, then left me to it as she headed back to the house to continue getting ready.

With the rare luxury of virtually no background interference, I was able to run the machine in an extremely sensitive setting and whip the big coil back and forth much faster than usual.
The chatter in the headphones was incessant with variations in ground mineralisation, the coil clipping a dead branch sent the headphones into a frenzy.
I ordinarily wouldn’t run in this mode, but it did have the great advantage of speed in this situation. A surface target would not be missed, although many loud subsurface signals each needed to be quickly verified.

An hour later, as the headphones filled up with ‘scribble’ due to a nearby underground powerline, a regular signal surfaced amongst the noise.

I parted the grass and revealed the ring, already flush with the soil surface, likely trodden on by Kareen.

Kareens face lit up with relief when I told her, and she asked if a hug was permitted.
Back at the house, her father came out and with an enthusiastic handshake explained the significance of the ring.

Job completed, I headed away and left them to finish preparing for their trip.

Car Key Lost at Whangarei Stables, Found.

  • from Paihia (New Zealand)

This particular recovery was quite the ride.
Ilona asked me if I was able to find car keys? “Yes, I certainly can”.

She had taken her child to horse riding lessons and on returning to the car, realised with dread that the key was missing. Without the coded key, she was unable to start the engine – and it was the only ‘chipped’ key she had.

People scoured the area around the car park, and where she had been sitting but the key remained elusive. With the only spare key she had being unchipped, she could lock and unlock and open/close windows but not actually start the car.
Ilona had no option to have the car recovered back to her house.

She messaged me and I headed down the next morning.

At the riding school, Ilona gave me a very detailed and accurate description of her limited movements on the day. A quick sweep of the high probability areas gave nothing.
Suspect number two was the car itself.

Ilona habitually put the key on the dash, and had already searched the car. What if the key had slid forward and down between the windscreen and the dash molding?
She had to leave shortly though, and was pressed for time.

We left the riding school for now and went to check the car at her house using my remote camera.
The ability to sneak into places the eye cannot reach can be invaluable. In this case, after going all ‘CSI’ on her car, including inside the dash and centre console tunnel, I was confident the key was not inside the car – No need to remove the windscreen or dash, as was her next (expensive) plan of action!
While the family headed out, I returned to the riding school.

Shortly after arrival, I located the wayward key where it had fallen end on, incredibly into a key-sized slot between two rocks at the edge of the farm track.
Plausible scenario was that, for whatever reason, she had taken the key with her. Keeping it in her hand while she took the umbrella from the back of the car for shade from the aggressive New Zealand summer sun.
It was likely she had swapped the umbrella between hands – and that was when the key fell from her hand, landing end-on in the smallest of gaps!.
I texted her that I had found it and drove out to meet her.
However, on seeing the key – she was adamant that it wasn’t her key.
Wait, what?

The odds of two recent loss Toyota keys with yellow tags being on a private property were beyond astronomical.
Did the key actually belong to the riding school, or another patron, and coincidentally lost without their knowledge, yet?
Only one way to find out – I again drove back to their house where the forlorn Toyota sat immobile in the drive.
The key unlocked the door, but I needed more proof.
I started the engine.

It WAS the key! My brain could now relax in the knowledge I didn’t need to return to the riding school to take it apart … bit by bit!
The good news was relayed, I tucked the key somewhere safe and I headed home.

A stressed memory can definitely be the enemy with recoveries, second guessing and distorted perceptions are commonly encountered in these stressful situations.
If you have lost something, make written (or photographic) notes where you think you lost it as soon as you can. Your recovery specialist will thank you for it 🙂