Owner claims bags of loot pulled from Oakland's Lake Merritt
The two bags of jewelry and other items found in Oakland's Lake Merritt by sixth graders from St. Paul’s Episcopal School have been claimed by their rightful owner and will be returned to him, a police spokeswoman said Thursday.
The students were scooping garbage out of the tidal lagoon in late March as part of their weekly service learning program when one girl spotted two submerged canvas sacks. Once the bags were fished out and opened up, Susan Porter’s science class discovered pocket watches and bracelets, candle sticks and medals.
The owner of the bags, who has “emphatically” requested to remain anonymous, “was able to identify the items with very specific descriptions that only an owner of the goods would know,” Officer Johnna A. Watson said in an e-mail. Oakland police received more than 100 inquiries from people who thought the treasures might be theirs, but only one was able to describe the items.
“He has expressed that he wants to ‘do something nice for the school,’ but we do not know what that is,” Watson said.
-- Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco
Photo: Loot pulled from Lake Merritt by Susan Porter's sixth-grade science class. Credit: Richard Bailey / Lake Merritt Institute