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Santa Clarita Valley drug drop boxes yield unusual find

Posted: February 24, 2014 5:34 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2014 5:34 p.m.

A San Diego man was reunited with the gold chain he lost during high school after it was found inside a discarded 1988 prescription drug vial dropped off anonymously at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station,

Three recycled U.S. Post Office mailboxes are lined up in front of the station in Valencia, each labeled to receive a different drug-related item: Illegal drugs in the center, prescription medications on the right and an oversized box for biohazards and needles on the left.

None of the bins is labeled to receive gold jewelry — but that’s precisely what narcotics officers found when they recently emptied their drug drop-off bins, said Investigator Bob Wachsmuth, who heads the Juvenile Intervention Team at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“When he opened up one particular vial, the deputy found some plastic wrap and, when he pulled it out, he found three items of gold jewelry,” Wachsmuth said Monday.

The date on the prescription drug vial was 1988. The prescription itself was made out to a man who has since died, Wachsmuth said.

“We were able to track the decedent’s son through his name and learned he (the son) was now a professor in San Diego,” he said.

On Friday, Wachsmuth took the jewelry with him on a trip already scheduled to San Diego.

“I had arranged to meet with the professor and stop by his house to give him his father’s jewelry,” he said.

The son told him: “This is the gold necklace I wore in high school.”

Narcotics officers find an assortment of items in the drug drop-off boxes. Last month they found a hollowed-out book containing marijuana and a pipe.

“We want people to feel comfortable dropping off drugs,” Detective Sgt. Thomas Carter said when asked if narcotics detectives are interested in identifying those using the system.

The short answer was “no,” Carter said, noting he wants drug donors to remain anonymous and, in doing so, encourage them to continue dropping off drugs.

When jewelry is found, however, and something positive can come of tracing it, detectives make the effort.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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