Two months ago the Mobile Police Department began the process of trying to reconnect forty-two people with their class rings. Case items, like these rings, are typically auctioned off. However, in this case, MPD felt these gems were too personal to sell without first trying to find their owners.
Today, I spoke with Mark Von Oven over FaceTime. Mark was recently reunited with his 1993 Crestview High School class ring. Mark, originally from the Florida panhandle now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His class ring was stolen from his college door room at the University of Florida.
“The ring was stolen within like the first 3-months that I was in college and that was it. I just figured alright it’s gone. That’s the end of it,” Von Oven said.
Little did he know that years later web sleuths who watched Channel 5 would trace his name from our story to a man they found on Facebook.
“It was about 10 people who had reached out just randomly with Facebook Messenger and my guess is they just googled my last name, googled my full name and found a Facebook page,” Mark said.
Mark’s name is inscribed on the ring but the Mobile Police Department still had to verify that the bring belonged to this Mark Von Oven.
“Here’s a guy living in Minneapolis, Minnesota claiming that he is the rightful owner of this ring and they said they would like me to come into the Mobile Police Department to pick it up and I thought that’s probably not going to happen,” Mark said.
Mark was finally able to verify that the class ring was his. While he couldn’t remember what exactly he had put on his class ring he knew that it must have had something to do with soccer, the sport he played in both high school and college. Sure enough, there was a large soccer emblem on the side of the ring not visible on the photograph MPD posted.
Finally, the Mobile Police Department sent the ring to Mark. It had been 24 years since he had last seen it.
“I barely remembered what was on it so, it was kind of a huge throwback just to see the pictures and symbols that were on it,” Mark said.
Click here to view photos of all the rings MPD has in their possession. You might just find yours. Good luck!