Governments' Lighter Side

Long way home: Sanitation crew finds woman's flushed necklace


Ann Aulakh’s sentimental gold chain was gone – really gone. The San Rafael, Calif., woman inadvertently flushed it down the toilet in the middle of the night. But then, to the rescue came workers in the city’s sanitation district, who retrieved the necklace more than three months later, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

The Italian gold Byzantine chain was special to Aulakh. It was a present from her husband on their first Christmas together in 1993. The chain took on even greater significance after a burglar stole most of her other jewelry, including heirlooms from her mother. Now after that fateful trip to the bathroom in early October, the necklace was gone too.

Then one of Aulakh’s neighbors left a message about the missing necklace with the San Rafael sanitation district. Couldn’t hurt, right? “I knew her necklace was in there somewhere,” the neighbor told the newspaper.

Sure enough, last month sanitation workers were cleaning a pipeline and came across the necklace. They remembered the neighbor’s lost-and-found message about a missing gold chain. It was a little worse for wear, understandably. A sanitation supervisor said it was pure luck that workers spotted the necklace, because usually flushed jewelry “will turn black from all the sewage,” she told the Journal.

A maintenance worker cleaned the necklace and dropped it off at Aulakh’s home. “I would have hugged him if he hadn’t been wearing his work clothes,” she told the newspaper. “I was just amazed at the kindness of actually delivering it. I thought that was wonderful. It really does bring back faith in people.”

So, after taking the long way home, Aulakh’s treasured necklace was returned, just in time for her 19th wedding anniversary. 

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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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