AN Olympic team ring has been returned to its Scots owner a month after it was stolen at a New Year’s Party.
The ring was presented to Bill Law, manager of the British diving team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, who gave it to his daughter.
Suzanne Ireland was inconsolable after the ring went missing a month ago after she took it off in a ladies’ toilet to wash her hands.
But thanks to the detective work of police officers, the ring was tracked down to a pawn shop in Edinburgh.
Officers are now trying to track down the culprits who took the gold ring from the Ellwyn Hotel in the city’s Portobello district.
Suzanne, whose father died in 2009, said: “I realised my ring wasn’t on my finger right after the bells. I rushed back to the toilet. We were all on our hands and knees looking for it.
“The staff at the Ellwyn were great, they said ‘We’ll have a good look for it tomorrow’.
“On the Saturday I went round all the cash converters inLeith– I didn’t know there were so many.”
But after a traumatic month without the ring, Suzanne got a call to say the precious item had been seized in Leith.
She said: “I’m delighted to have it back because it means so much to me. It’s been an emotional month without the ring.
“It’s brilliant to have it back, I’ve been in tears. I was crying when the police gave it back to me.
“It’s the most important thing I’ve ever had because I know how much it meant to him, it was his biggest achievement. I was really, really close to my dad.”
While she is upset at herself for losing the ring, she is angry that the thief then tried to cash in on finding the ring.
She said: “The fact that someone has tried to sell it upsets me. If I found jewellery I’d hand it in because I know how much jewellery can mean, because I have a piece of jewellery that means a lot. It’s the fact that it’s my dad’s ring. It could have been a bit of tin, it could have been a bit of plastic.”
But she vowed not to let the ring – which is unique because her father’s initials are engraved on the inside – out of her sight again.
“The overriding feeling is relief. It’s not coming off my finger even if I wash my hands.”
Police say they are now following a positive line of enquiry to identify the person who tried to sell the ring and have praised staff at the store for their assistance.
Chief Inspector Matt Richards said: “Once again the co-operation of responsible retailers in the second-hand trade has proven vital in returning a missing item to its rightful owner and providing essential information to help trace the suspect.
“The victim was delighted to have the ring back in her possession and she is also extremely grateful to the staff at Cash Generators for helping return an item of immense sentimental importance.
“Anyone who, for whatever reason, comes across an object of value, should hand it in to their local policing team.
“Failure to do so, or any attempt to sell the item on for personal profit is a crime and anyone found to be responsible will be robustly dealt with.”