Sarah gets her ring back

EN­GAGE­MENT RING HUNT: Cops re­lieved as owner fi­nally comes for­ward

Weekend Witness - - Front Page - SHAR­LENE PACK­REE

AF­TER a week of search­ing for a Dur­ban woman who had lost her ring on the beach­front, po­lice fi­nally tracked her down and handed over the pre­cious ring to its ec­static owner.

Clutch­ing her di­a­mond ring tightly, an ex­cited Sarah Pil­lay told Week­end Wit­ness she will never for­get the kind­ness and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the po­lice, who went be­yond the call of duty to find her en­gage­ment ring.

Last Fri­day, just af­ter the World Cup open­ing game, Pil­lay ap­proached po­lice at the Joint Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre on the Dur­ban beach­front and re­ported that she had lost her di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring on a grassy area near the prom­e­nade.

Bri­gadier Robert Harry and mem­bers of the Tac­ti­cal Re­sponse Unit sprang into ac­tion, even crawl­ing on their hands and knees in the dark to find the ring. They sus­pended the search and con­tin­ued the next day.

Af­ter an hour of search­ing, Con­sta­ble Langa Mse­leku found the ring un­der some dry grass, but by this time, there was no sign of Pil­lay and po­lice feared that she would never get her ring back.

De­ter­mined to find her, Harry and his team made hand­writ­ten pam­phlets with the words “Sarah, we found your ring” and dis­trib­uted them to all the hol­i­day apart­ments in the area.

“When I got home from work, I saw the mes­sage on their no­tice board. My heart al­most stopped as I had given up ever see­ing my ring again,” she said.

Pil­lay rushed over to the Joint Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre and told po­lice the ring be­longed to her.

“I was so ex­cited. I couldn’t be­lieve that ev­ery­one had worked so hard to find my ring. It has just in­creased the ring’s sen­ti­men­tal value. I could never find the words to ex­press my grat­i­tude to the team,” she said.

She said her fi­ancé Ju­naid Balka­ran had told her that he would buy her an­other ring. She feels the fact that her ring was re­turned to her means that there was a strong bond be­tween her and Balka­ran.

“The ring has brought us closer. It has given us a great story to tell our grand­kids some­day. I will wear it ev­ery day from now on,” she said.

Harry said he had sleep­less nights wor­ry­ing whether Pil­lay would be found, but re­fused to give up and con­tacted East Coast Ra­dio and The

Wit­ness to help in search for Pil­lay. “When I saw Sarah cry­ing, I imme- di­ately thought of my daugh­ter and how she would feel if she lost her en­gage­ment ring. I knew I had to help,” he said.

PHOTO: SHAR­LENE PACK­REE

An ex­cited Sarah Pil­lay with Bri­gadier Robert Harry, who with his team found her en­gage­ment ring af­ter a two­day search, and then hunted for her for a week.

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