The Bay Area Ring Finders Tag | The Ring Finders

Buried Sewer Clean-out’s…Located By Metal Detector!

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

As a member of THE RING FINDERS community, I often get calls for missing items such as; men’s and woman’s rings, earrings, cell phones, and keys.  I even have gotten a number of requests for missing or locating property pins.  I also get to meet a great deal of interesting personalities while on these requests for assistance.  Ken’s story is a little bit different and takes place on a large plot of land.  A few years earlier, he had trenched and ran new sewer lines with a clean-out every 100 feet.  Before burying these lines he capped the clean-outs with a big brass fitting.  The thought was that these large brass caps would be simple to locate with a metal detector should the need arise.

Fast forward to May of this year, Ken purchased a metal detector and fabricated a probe to rediscover his clean-outs.  After several attempts at locating them and hundreds of probes pushed into the ground, I received a request for assistance.

Our First attempts found highly mineralized ground and a lot of debris around our target area.  Usually, I would move to a smaller coil, ground balance, and turn up the target separation on my equinox, however in this application we needed depth to locate what was thought to have been 16″ to 18″ down.  We searched for 2 hours in the hot days sun before concluding our search.  Ken and I had a lot of great conversation but both were disappointed in the result.  I left questioning if I had the depth required to even see our target.

I stewed about the issues we had faced for a couple of days and decided I needed another shot.  I utilized the money I received from our previous search to supplement the purchase of a new larger coil.  I turned my target separation down to 1 to achieve maximum depth and power and on Saturday I returned to the field.  Ken had located some older photos that proved we were indeed in the right area.  We gave it another shot and we found a target and probed…nothing!  Found a target and probed…nothing!  Our third and best target we probed…it was an area we had probed during the previous search…suddenly Ken hit something!  We both smiled, hopeful that the search was indeed over.  We both grabbed a shovel and began to dig and at just about 20″ in depth we located the first brass clean-out cap.  I think we were both equal part excited and equal part relieved.

Afterwards, we marked out 100′ up hill in the direction the sewer pipes traveled and began again.

Thank you Ken!  I enjoyed our conversations and the opportunity to work on a different project than those I typically perform.  I learned some valuable knowledge and procured new equipment to continue helping others.

The first clean-out located at 20″ of depth

15″ coil utilized to locate the target

Our field as seen from above

100′ uphill to the second location

The newly stubbed-up clean-out with marker!

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The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Multiple Pieces of Stolen Jewelry…Recovered!!!

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

The story behind this recovery in some ways is very similar to that which I perform on a somewhat routine basis.  However, In some ways this was much different and took much more patience and thought.

At a little past 11am on the 10th of May, I was out metal detecting with my soon to be 5 year old son.  We had just pulled out our machines a Vanquish 540 (my sons) and my equinox to start a little park hunt.  He had dug his first target, a rusty nail.  I was just about to put my headphones on when I received a text message and then, a voice message.  It was a call for help stating that the previous Saturday there had been a home invasion where the thief took jewelry and ran, dropping the jewelry as the alarm went off.  They had recovered some of the jewelry from their yard but requested that I come help to locate any and all of the fallen jewelry I could.  And with that, we packed up our gear and headed 30 minutes south to assist.

In was now midday and getting warm when we arrived at the residence, a large and beautiful home on a hillside.  The owners met with us and thanked us for such a quick response.  They showed us the rear full height window that had been smashed and where some of the stolen jewelry had been recovered leading to the fence in the back of the large backyard.  The task was to search the opposing side of the fence which was a large parcel of open space on a hillside.  I was not sure if it had been a blessing or a curse, but only a day or two prior the city had mowed a 50 foot swath of defensible space  right up to the fence line.  The search was now on!

It did not take long to get my first hit, a silver cuff-link, and my next, a gold cuff-link.  And then, a very colorful sandal pendant with multiple gemstones. Most of the pieces were being recovered at the corner of the property line which was likely to be the location the thief jumped the fence.  I called this my “anchor point”.  7 pieces of jewelry were recovered from this area.  I searched the area until no other pieces or targets (there was a lot of trash there too) could be found.  I then established a grid and worked outward from my anchor.  Prior to the search the homeowner  had mentioned a gold bangle bracelet encrusted with gemstones that had been visible prior to the weed abatement operation.  As I spread out and expanded my grid, that was the next piece I recovered buried in the recently mowed weeds.  It was slightly damaged and quite a bit away from the spot it had been previously seen.  My guess was it had fallen prey to the mower, but I used a landscaping flag to mark the location it had been found and retrieved the beautiful piece.

All of this happened within the first 30 minutes of our busy search, and then… nothing!!!  The next 30 minutes of grid search only revealed trash and not much of that either.  And then, bang!!! A beautiful yellow gold and diamond encrusted earring.  A sight for sore eyes and our first new lead in the direction that the thief may have went.  Again, the piece was marked with a flag and recovered.

For the next hour, I worked the grid, expanded the grid, worked the grid, expanded the grid, but no new pieces could be located and the trail had gone cold.  It was now two hours of searching in the fully exposed sun with no new direction and seemingly acres of open space covered in tall dry grass.  The operation was shut down.

In all, we managed to recover and flag 9 pieces of jewelry, some of which were sure to be very valuable.  The beautiful bangle bracelet turned out to be very sentimental, a wedding gift from the brides mother-in-law on her wedding day and was the highlight of our operation.  Our client seemed to be very thankful for our efforts and we had indeed MADE THE RECOVERY!!!

8 of 9 Pieces recovered from the thief’s escape route.

The beautiful gold bangle bracelet with gemstones.

1 of 9 pieces recovered from the open space field.

The last and furthest piece located!

All smiles for a great recovery!

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Lost Subaru Key Fob… Recovered from Steep Slope in Oakland, CA

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

It’s not too often I get calls about lost keys or key fobs, let alone from a 10 year old, but on Monday May 6th that all changed.  The young boy requested that I come look for a set of keys that found their way off of a deck and onto a slope covered with ivy, blackberry, and other organic debris.  Of course I asked if the young boy would be assisting me and that I had an extra metal detector that I’d be glad to share.  Excitedly, we scheduled the search the following afternoon after school had gotten out.

It took 30 minutes or so to make my way to Oakland, CA were the key fob made it’s way into the wilds.  Upon arrival, I met the family including mom, dad, and several siblings.  They showed me to the scene of the mishap and explained that while swinging a rope the boy accidentally struck the keys sending them into the void below.  A search ensued but produced no results.  My first thoughts were that I asked a young 10 year old boy to assist me and now was looking at a very steep and hazardous looking slope entangled in ivy and blackberry vines.  But after producing my back-up machine to the boy and a garret pin-pointer to another sibling, there was no turning back.

The four of us, myself, the two boys, and dad (who was assisting by removing thorny blackberry vines from the slope) started a hasty search of the steep hillside.  The boys were excited every time the metal detectors sounded off and they quickly set out to discover what had made the machine scream out.  The hillside was riddled with targets like bottle caps, pull tabs, aluminum cans, and a large number of other interesting items. After about 20 minutes of looking, dad said that he may have saw something on the slope while pulling out vines and the two boys rushed to confirm the presence of the object.  First the young boy with the metal detector confirmed something metallic, then the sibling with the pin-pointer narrowed the search.  Moments later, with a bit of careful probing, WE MADE THE RECOVERY!

After a short celebration our little crew, and now mom and other siblings, collected on flatter ground for a little exploration and metal detecting.  For another 30 minutes or so we located and dug a plethora of targets, mostly do-dads and trash, but everyone was having a fun and educational experience.  Overall, the search for the wayward key fob and mini-hunt that followed was hugely successful.  Thank you kindly for allowing me to provide this service, I always love to get those willing and able involved into the search and having an interactive experience.

This was our target today!

A substitute picture of myself for the book of smiles!

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Now offering Metal Detecting, Video Endoscope, and Magnet Fishing services!

Lost Gold Angel Cameo Ring…Found in Point Richmond, CA!!!

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

It was a beautiful Saturday morning when we arrived at the community garden area in Point Richmond, CA.  Late on Friday evening I received a voice message from Frances stating that she had lost a very sentimental ring and wondered if I might assist in searching.  I called her back shortly after listening to her message and assured her that I would do everything I could to help find the ring.

We met in the garden the following day.  She did not know the exact moment the ring was lost, but was almost certain it had been in the garden.  She walked us around the garden area showing us the route and events that were revealed to have taken place 14 days earlier.  Since that time, the cycle of rain and sun meant new tall foliage had sprung up everywhere and to make matters more esoteric several areas had been covered with new wood chips.

My two young boys and I, armed with our metal detectors, set out to perform a hasty search of the garden area.  This did not result in the recovery of the ring and the area was expanded to additional areas that were thought to perhaps be hiding her golden Angel cameo ring.  As the day warmed up and it got closer to the lunch hour, Frances excused herself back home to meet up with a close friend for a bite to eat.  The boys, who had now lost all interest in the search and were helping other residence pull weeds and searching for bugs, were now getting restless and hungry.  I had just finished a complete grid search of the previously searched areas and although I can never say 100% certain, I was fairly well certain the ring was not in the garden area as supposed.

Moments later Frances pulled up in her vehicle with her friend and a smile.  As the story goes, while sitting at the dining table, her friend who was well aware of the missing ring and had helped with previous searches of the garden area and other spaces, had glanced down and noticed something under the table.  It was the ring…they had MADE THE RECOVERY!!!

After 2 plus hours of metal detecting in a pretty garden on a gorgeous day, we were all glad for a positive result.  Frances looked quite relieved to have the ring back on her hand were it rightfully belonged.

Frances, thank you for contacting me and The Bay Area Ring Finders for assistance.  The boys were very pleased with the $5.00 each you gave them for their part in the search.  You were great company and I very much enjoyed meeting you.  Best Wishes!

The Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Now offering Metal Detecting, Video Endoscope, and Magnet Fishing services!

Set of Keys Lost in Oakland Hills…Found

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Now offering Metal Detecting, Video Endoscope, and Magnet Fishing services!

Harry had lost an important set of keys on a hillside covered in ivy directly below the stair to his beautiful Montclair Hills home.  He and his wife searched the area and even removed much of the ivy in the location.  The keys were seemingly gone!  The couple found my information from the TRF website and had sent a request for help at 11am on the 9th of March.  We would schedule the search for once Harry returned home from work around 5pm, and I would maneuver to that side of the hills early to successfully perform a search for a lost ring near by.

My boys and I would meet Harry and his wife at their home and get a quick run down of how and where the keys went missing.  An initial hasty search of the small hillside only revealed some conduit pipes and very little else.  We then moved to search the “green waste” bin where much of the stripped away ivy went.  This proved unsuccessful also.  Next, I began to search with my pin-pointer around a metal post that did not allow the metal detector to get close.  It was at that time I discovered the set of keys nestled under debris close to the post…We had made the recovery!!!

Thank you Harry for contacting me, trusting me with the search, and your generosity!  I’m very happy to have been able to return your set of keys in a timely manner.

Harry, the hillside, and the returned keys!

Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Platinum Ring Lost a Second Time in Berkeley, CA…Found Again!

  • from Walnut Creek (California, United States)

Bay Area Ring Finders: Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590 

In August of 2023 I assisted Fred in finding his Platinum Ring.  The ring fits loosely and had fallen off while he performed yard work.  On Saturday, February the 9th I received my second request for help for the day.  It was Fred with a simple text message that read, “Hello, it’s Fred in Berkeley again. I lost my ring again in the yard.  Small Area”.  I had been scheduling a search for another individual who coincidentally lived only minutes down the road from Fred.  I responded to Fred that I could be under way in minutes and I quickly loaded up for a double-header. My two boys asked if they could help and so we loaded their machines in too!

We arrived at Fred’s home armed with the knowledge I had documented from the first trip to search for the ring.  I knew the location, the landscaping, the materials the ring was made up of and the VDI information for my machine.  After a quick overview of how and where the ring was lost, my boys and I got to work.  It wouldn’t be 2 minutes before my middle son got a hit and my oldest boy pinpointed the ring.  I quickly confirmed the find and performed some quick photo documentation.

Fred was not in the least bit surprised we were able to…Make the Recovery!!!!  Thank you again Fred for trusting me to be your Lost Item Specialist!

Fred with his ring

The Platinum Ring

The Ring once the debris was cleared.

Bay Area Ring Finders Brendon Chapman… Metal Detecting Service/Call ASAP     925-580-2590

Now offering Metal Detecting, Video Endoscope, and Magnet Fishing services!