Diamond ring found in purse bought at Buffalo Exchange

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A woman who found a diamond ring in a purse she bought at a Buffalo Exchange in Berkeley is looking for the ring's rightful owner.

Do you remember the joy of opening up a box of Cracker Jacks and finding the prize at the bottom of the package? That's how a Sonoma County woman might have felt after discovering a nice surprise in her purse. It all started when she bought a fairly large purse from a secondhand store. She didn't know at the time, but the purse turned out to be quite a bargain.

Katie Evenbeck bought the purse in Dec. It wasn't until months later when she lost something, that she discovered what she really had.

"I had lost a set of car keys and dumped the contents of my purse out on the curb to find them," she said. "Still didn't find them, but then I felt in the lining my keys."

Turns out the keys had somehow slipped inside a hole she found in the lining at the bottom of her purse. But she found a lot more than just her keys.

She found a box top for hair coloring, movie stub for the 10:30 showing of "The Hangover 2," and a note written on a napkin. None of that belonged to her. She also found one other thing that didn't belong to her -- a diamond ring.

"Because of the detailing on it, realized that it wasn't mine," Evenbeck said. "So just started thinking about whose it could be and how to get it back to them."

She bought the purse at a Buffalo Exchange outlet in Berkeley. The store resells items it purchases from customers, but said it had no way of tracing the owner without the original receipt.

The store did contact one possible seller, but that person did not remember selling the purse to the store.

In a statement, the president of Buffalo Exchange told us, "We applaud Katie for her efforts to find the original owner of the ring, and hope she is able to do so."

So does the ring belong now to Evenbeck?

"Not so fast," said John O'Grady with the O'Grady Law Group. "The law is very specific that she has duties to the true owner of the ring."

Such as contacting the store, which she already did. She also needed to contact the police.

"And after seven days, if nobody can make a legitimate claim for the ring, then the police have to turn it over to her," said O'Grady.

Evenbeck has filed a police report with the Berkeley Police Department.

She's hoping the original owner is found. It's a very distinctive ring, so the owner will have to describe it. That's why we're not showing the ring to you.

"It's great, I love it, I'm really really hopeful we can get it back to who it belongs to," Evenbeck said.

And if the owner isn't found, Evenbeck says she'll donate it to the camp she runs, St. Dorothy's Rest. It's a camp for recent child organ transplant recipients and other kids going through rehabilitation.

"It doesn't feel like it's mine," she said. "And it feels like it's a gift because it's a great story and if we can't find the original owner I'll be sad, but it also lets me give it to something else for good."

If you think the ring might be yours, you can contact Lt. Edward Spiller with the Berkeley Police Department at 510-981-5943, or email him at spiller@ci.berkeley.ca.us.
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