Detective Doug Coleman was sorting a pile of stolen goods when he found the ring from the Bonneville High School Class of 1974.
"I wonder what poor schmuck lost his high school class ring," Coleman recalls saying to a fellow investigator as he picked it up and let it roll from his fingertips to the palm of his hand.Only then did he see the faint inscription bearing his own name.
"I haven't seen that ring for at least 10 years," the flabbergasted Coleman said Friday.
He said he had long ago stopped wearing the ring because it no longer fit on his finger.
"I can't say I've been looking for it, but I assumed it was in my wife's jewelry box all this time," said Coleman, a member of the Weber County Sheriff's Department.
The discovery came as Coleman was investigating a rash of county vehicle burglaries. He said Clinton police had arrested two teenagers for similar offenses, and they later confessed to the Weber County thefts.
Coleman said one of the boys claimed the ring belonged to him until he showed the boy the engraving and his police identification.
"That shut him up," he said.
Coleman believes the ring may have been stolen from him several years ago by a then-neighbor.