By Donna Hill
For the Fort Bend Star
As the owner and operator of Houston Metal Detecting Services, John Volek stands behind his company’s slogan You lost it…We’ll find it.
A veteran of over 28 years in law enforcement, with 18 of those as a Sugar Land police officer, he understands about conducting a through investigation, and working with the public. Like his website says, the goal is to find and return lost personal possessions through science and metal detecting equipment. In addition to his law enforcement experience, Volek also maintains a Scuba Diver Certification through Scuba Schools International.
Houston Metal Detecting Services locates items on land and underwater, including lost wedding and engagement rings, class rings, necklaces, earrings, and other priceless valuables. He is experienced in estate and property searches, locating existing property markers, pipe and cable locating, and crime scene and forensic recovery.
Volek started his company back in 2012, when a citizen came into the police department and asked the crime services division for help in finding a lost wedding ring in Fort Bend County. Houston Metal Detecting Services is also franchised with Ring Finders, which hosts a world wide online directory of metal detecting specialists.
“A lot of the success with my new business is having a strong understanding of interviewing people, and how to conduct an investigation. Sometimes when people lose a treasured ring, or piece of jewelry, they will call us,” said Volek. “Maybe we can find it, or maybe not. At the very least, folks feel someone with experience has done a through search. Even if we can’t find the object, they will have some type of closure.”
So how do people typically lose a piece of jewelry?
“Sometimes people lose things while swimming; others have domestic disagreements and toss rings into the water, it varies from incident to incident.”
Volek has one of the few metal detecting companies that searches for lost items in water. He designed an underwater search grid specifically for murky water adventures. As Volek explained about zero visibility, it’s the particulates that make the water cloudy.
“You need some time of physical reference under water for searches, otherwise you’d become disoriented. So I’ve designed a special submersible grid, which is basically a 22 by 35 box which is both floatable and submersible,” he said.
All metal detectors are not the same and Volek uses different machines for different functions.
“I operate more advanced metal detectors than what you’d find at a local retailer. The detectors I typically use are from an authorized distributor such as Minelab Metal and Garrett Metal Detectors.”
His work at the Sugar Land Police Department coincides well with his new business. Recently, Volek was asked to search for shell casings on a routine case. Using his metal detector he was able to locate not only the shell casings for the department, but also a diamond ring lost by the owners of the property several years ago. He was awarded the Criminal Investigation Challenge Coin for his assistance.
Other recoveries include a 2016 Texas A&M class ring found by Volek in La Marque. The owner of the lost ring bought a metal detector, but found the equipment confusing to use. He then searched the Internet for a metal detector service, and found Houston Metal Detecting Services. Volek, using his updated technology, was able to locate the ring.
“There’s a certain amount of satisfaction in finding these lost objects for citizens” Volek said. “It’s not just the fact that the item is lost and will never be found. Many people don’t even realize that companies like ours exist, plus the fact that people who lose a piece of jewelry think the item is lost forever. We’re here to tell them that may not be the case. Sometimes an item has been lost for many years. If the owner has a general idea of where the item was lost, there’s a good chance the item may still be there.”
For more information and videos of his recovery stories go to www.houstonmetaldetectingservices.com, or call 281-330-7758.