YORK, England - A police force in England found the one ring to rule them all — and became inundated with “Lord of the Rings” jokes after posting an earnest plea to help find its “rightful owner.”
North Yorkshire Police said in a Facebook post on Jan. 29 that its officers were trying to locate the owner of a “distinctive silver ring.”
The jewelry, which features an engraved inscription in the Elven lettering seen in Peter Jackson's “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, was recovered with property stolen in a house burglary in February 2019.
“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find the owner of the ring and return it to them,” North Yorkshire Police Detective Constable Pete Wilson said in the post, seemingly unaware of the J.R.R. Tolkien connection.
“As it is such a distinctive piece of jewellery, we’re hoping that someone will recognise the markings and be able to tell us who it rightfully belongs to, as I’m sure someone, somewhere is missing it.”
The police also shared several images of the ring in hopes that someone would recognize it.
In a Facebook post on Jan. 29, 2020, North Yorkshire Police said the ring was recovered among other stolen property from a burglary. (Photo credit: North Yorkshire Police)
Facebook users quickly chimed in with hundreds of witty references to Tolkien’s best-selling novels and later hit movie trilogy starring Elijah Wood, who plays the young hobbit Frodo Baggins on a quest to destroy the ring in the fires of Mount Doom.
"The ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom, only there can it be unmade," one person wrote.
“Please, nobody tell North Yorkshire Police they now have the power of invisibility,” another Facebook user quipped.
“There's 3 whole movies about why you shouldn't give this ring back to its owner,” one commenter wrote.
“Always remember, the ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found,” another person joked.
Taking the jabs in good spirit, police later followed up with another post: “Thanks for all the comments – we obviously need to brush up on our movie knowledge! However it is someone’s property and we would like to return it to whoever has had it stolen from them.”
On Feb. 3, police shared an update that the ring had finally been reunited with its rightful owner, identified as Mike Taylor from York.
“We have had a lot of laughs thanks to you, our fabulous quick-witted followers – it’s been an unexpected but welcome relief from some of the more distressing things we deal with,” a spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police wrote. “We have been amazed at how far the story has travelled and have had lots of enquiries from members of the public who believe the ring could be theirs. Including five hobbits (two didn’t want it, they’d had enough of it and are chilling in the west), an elf and a couple of wizards.”
“Thank you again for your support with the appeal and for giving us a happy ending.”
This story was reported from Cincinnati.