Madera deputy's Web search finds owner of long-lost Tennessee ring

The Fresno BeeMarch 18, 2014 

Madera County sheriff's deputy Matthew Kutz holds the high school football championship ring that was recovered during a probation search in Madera recently. Kutz tracked down the owner in Tennessee, who said it has been stolen from a gym bag more than a decade ago. It's unknown how the ring went from Tennessee to Madera, but the sheriff's office has sent it back to the police department in Nashville, where the owner, Grover Christopher Collins, will collect it.

SPECIAL TO THE FRESNO BEE

Thanks to some quick Internet sleuthing by a Madera County sheriff's deputy, a Tennessee man is getting back his high school football state championship ring that was stolen more than a decade ago.

Madera County sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart said the ring was discovered during a recent probation search in Madera.

The 24 karat ring sported the initials "GCC" and a BGA insignia. Deputy Matthew Kutz decided to search the Internet to try to track down the owner.

Looking up BGA -- the insignia on the ring -- he found Battle Ground Academy, a K-12 prep school in Franklin, Tenn. He then searched for the school's football roster championship team, and found a 1997-98 roster with the name Chris Collins. With some more searching through LinkedIn, he tracked down Grover Christopher Collins -- the "GCC" inscribed on the ring -- who described it to a T.

Collins, an attorney, told deputies his championship ring was taken from his gym bag in Franklin back in either 2001 or 2002. He said it happened so long ago, he never thought he'd get it back.

Stuart said it's unknown how the ring got from Tennessee to Madera County. But the ring is now on its way back to Tennessee, Stuart said, where the Metro Nashville Police Department will hold the ring until Collins claims it.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6659, daguilera@fresnobee.com or @DianaT_Aguilera on Twitter.

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