News Article:

Many Happy Returns

Story by Tom Zytaruk, Surrey Now

Chris Turner specializes in happy endings.

He's a professional finder, reuniting lost heirlooms and treasures with their owners. Formerly a professional soccer player and television actor, the Surrey-born-and-raised Turner, 35, is most happy when he's hunting for lost items with his high-tech metal detectors and other Diversified Electronics gear.

"To most people it's a hobby," he grins, "but with me it's an obsession."

Recently, he rescued a wedding band from a Surrey golf course and a tiny god chainsaw from a Surrey yard.

Bridgeview resident Steve Deryaw, of Evergreen Tree Service, was grinding stumps in a customer's back yard when he lost his miniature chainsaw charm.

He rented a metal detector and searched for it for eight hours. The customer also helped him for nearly three hours, but with no luck.

Frustrated, Deryaw called Turner.

"He found it so quick it made my head spin, " said Deryaw. "He came up with this doo-dad and showed me how it worked, and it was like boom - after about four minutes he found it.

"It cost me more to rent that metal detector than what he charged."

Over the years, Turner has had some touching experiences. On one job, his mission was to find an iron engineer's ring. A surrey woman and her fianceihad been looking at property in Port Moody when the man lost his ring. After he died, it became very important for the woman and the man's mother to get it back.

"When I picked that ring up out of the ground," says Turner, "it gave me goosebumps. To the family, it just meant everything. I'll always remember that find.

"It's a neat business it make so many people happy."

Turner's company, Professional Finders, is also equipped for marine work.

It's a busy job, so he likes nothing better than to unwind by - you guessed it - looking for treasure.

"I always have change for the phone," he laughs.

"His collection of unearthed treasures includes American Civil War badges, suffragette pins and a 19th- century police badge he found near a construction site along Granville Street in Vancouver.

His strangest find was in Stanley Park, where his metal detector picked up an old coffee tin.

"My heart was pounding as I lifted it out of the ground," he said. "But when I opened it up, there was a pony tail inside. "I don't know why someone would bury their hair - it was one of the weirdest things I've ever found. I put it back."

Turner's next plan is to search for a bucket filled with platinum at Granite City near Princeton, left there - as the legend goes - by a Scandinavian miner in the 1890s.

But his real interest lies in Europe, where in past years he's found 2,000-year-old Roman coins and a 600-year-old cross.

"I'd have this ancient Roman coin in my hand, and I'd think, 'Who held this? How did they lose it?' I just want to find history and have a museum one day."

It's his dream to save enough money to return to that continent and comb for buried treasure.

"The stuff they're finding there would blow you away," he says. "Europe is intense. I think there's a far greater chance of getting rich that way then waiting for the 6/49."

But for the time being, he's more than happy to reunite people with their lost belongings.

Lose something? Turner can be reached at 650-2878.