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CEDAR FALLS – Turns out, Ty Runge is a real gem.

The Deery Brothers Collision Center technician was responsible for finding and returning a lost engagement ring to its owner on the East Coast.

A replacement sunroof glass assembly had been ordered for repairs on a Nissan Murano. When the piece arrived at the Cedar Falls collision center from the salvage company, part of the front windshield and roof console were still attached.

Runge was disassembling the console when he discovered the ring tucked in the roof compartment.

“I don’t know anything about rings, but it looked pretty nice to me,” said Runge, who has worked at the collision center for a little more than two years. “I just knew there was no way I could have done anything with it. It didn’t feel right. I knew I had to try and find out who owned the ring.”

Runge took his sparkling find to management.

“He was excited,” said General Manager Todd Arenholz. “It was a fairly large and impressive diamond — a double band and a big diamond on top.”

In another bit of luck, Runge found an oil change sticker still attached to a corner of the windshield. The vehicle’s VIN number also came with the piece.

“The oil change sticker had the name of a dealership in Maryland. We called the dealership and gave them the VIN number, and they were able to find the customer,” Arenholz said.

The customer told the dealership the ring belonged to his niece, and she’d been searching for it for some time.

“It couldn’t have been lost for too long, though, because the sticker said the oil change was due in November,” Arenholz said.

The ring was packed up and shipped overnight via the U.S. Postal System to the dealership so it could be returned to the rightful owner.

“Nothing like this has ever happened here before. The closest thing was a customer who dropped a $100 bill down a vent and wanted us to get it out,” Arenholz said. “It’s pretty amazing. Ty’s a younger kid, and he said he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t turn it in.”

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