By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– A Fort Collins man was reunited with his once-missing wedding ring, thanks to an eagle-eyed Fort Collins police officer. Officer Dane Stratton successfully returned the wedding band to its owner, a man identified as “Natniel,” the day after Christmas.

(credit: CBS)

Stratton told CBS Denver’s Dillon Thomas he was responding to an unrelated call with a coworker late at night on Christmas Eve. His fellow officer checked a flashlight on his rifle, before they proceeded with their investigation. When the light shined, hitting the ground, a ring appeared in Stratton’s line of sight.

(credit: Dane Stratton)

“It was dingy, it was dirty, and it was scratched and scuffed,” Stratton said. “Obviously, it had been outside a long time.”

After completing the other investigation, Stratton returned to the ring. When he looked at the inside of the wedding band, he noticed an inscription. A love note to “Natniel” was inscribed.
“Natniel is not a very common name,” Stratton said.

Dane Stratton (credit: CBS)

Stratton was able to look up Natniel’s name in their database. The man was a victim in a previous investigation, and his phone number was available in the report. Stratton was able to call him Christmas morning.

“I asked, ‘Did you lose a ring?’ And, he was like, ‘Yeah, a year ago,’” Stratton said.

(credit: CBS)

Stratton offered to return the ring to Natniel on Christmas day. However, the duo was unable to find a time to meet. So, before he returned the ring the next day, Stratton took the ring to Sather’s Leading Jewelers in Fort Collins. The company donated their services.

“They graciously helped us out. They got it all cleaned up, looking really good. They polished it,” Stratton said. “(Natniel) was as all smiles when I showed up with that ring.”

(credit: Dane Stratton)

Stratton said the returning of the ring was a prime example of a community coming together for a stranger, and going above their calls of service to do good by others.

“Right there is an example of two agencies, or businesses, wanting to do the right thing for someone else,” Stratton said.

(credit: Dane Stratton)

Stratton said the ring likely would have sat in evidence for months, if not years, if there had not been a name inscribed inside the ring.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

  1. Touching. Great way to start the new year.

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