Shaw Local offers hundreds of smart watches

A suggestion to Apple Watch holders who spend time on the Chain O’ Lakes: Acquire a superior band for the device than what is provided with it.

When plunging with his metal detector, Darick Langos has amassed around 200 of the intelligent timepieces from the water. Virtually all had the initial watch band attached.

Apple watches found by Darick Langos with his metal detector on land or while diving in the Fox River or lakes.

“The ones with the sports bands … they do not remain on in the water,” Langos stated.

Langos, 25, of Port Barrington, also discovered dozens of mobile phones and hundreds of rings and other jewelry in his years descending in the Chain O’ Lakes and on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where his parents possess a vacation home.

He’s turned those two passions – scuba diving and metal detecting – into a business, Scuba Bear Diving Recovery Service. For a charge and depending on what was lost and where, Langos will rummage for lost possessions.

“It is a beneficial paying gig, but super niche,” Langos mentioned, adding, “I am the most inexpensive guy I know of. I don’t charge if I can’t find it.”

While his base rate is variable, depending on where the item is and how far underwater it might be, “I don’t want to shock people with my prices,” he stated.

Langos initiated the two hobbies young, acquiring scuba certification at age 10 and his first metal detector at age 11. That initial detector model was a “1970s from grandpa that didn’t do anything compared to the models they have now.”

The model he now utilizes will detect metal under 50 feet of water. “That was a game changer for me,” Langos remarked.

Darick Langos with some of the hundreds of items he has found with his metal detector on land or while diving in the Fox River or lakes.

He does not go treasure hunting only when he receives a call. Langos also ventures out on his own. He’s never vended anything he’s found on the trips and now holds the assortment of cellphones, smart watches, rings, earrings, a few hunting knives and an assortment of largely corroded guns that have been approved by police.

“I haven’t sold anything, including a white gold Cartier ring, unless I get it back to the owner,” he stated.

As for the Apple Watches, most still take a charge, but because they are locked it’s tough to return it to an owner. If he can dispatch a “call this number” message to the watch that forwards to a cellphone, then he has been able to give it back. Cellphone companies have mostly shown disinterest in retrieving the device back to owners.

Langos is honest about his ability at discovering items lost in the lake, Langos stated. If the owner is 99% assured of where the lost property may be, he can go search for it. If the property is “somewhere out in the middle of the lake” he’s less prone to find it.

One of his largest search requests has been for prescription glasses. “They can be massively costly, $800 for prescription glasses. I am able to find it in less than a minute” if given a good location, Langos stated.

Metal detecting as a pastime had an upsurge in popularity during the pandemic, with individuals picking up detectors for something to do outdoors. Langos proposes individuals who think they’d like to try going out themselves start with a less-expensive model.

That is the same guidance from Ron Shore, owner of Chicago’s Windy City Metal Detectors. He’s been a metal detector merchant since 1985.

Interest in metal detecting “has been quite stable,” Shore stated, but it did observe an increase during COVID-19 and when gold and silver prices escalate. The equipment has also improved significantly in the past few years.

Machines can be bought online, but those detectors can also be vexing if they are too advanced for a new user, Shore stated. “I tell them to not buy top of the line. See if you enjoy the hobby. You don’t want a $1,000 detector that sits in the closet.”

People think it’s neat to see his three large jars of wheat pennies he’s collected, Shore stated. For each one of them, he had to get down on his knees and dig to find out what the machine had found.

He also cautions that the YouTube videos of searchers finding gold rings likely is a small percentage of what the person actually digs for. “You only see them dig for the good stuff. I have a case here … with a ton of junk” that been dug up. “That is just part of the game.”

Rings found by Darick Langos with his metal detector on land or while diving in the Fox River or lakes.

Shore will refer calls to Langos for individuals seeking their lost property or when a plunge is needed for the search.

“I am close to 80 now. I don’t detect as much as I used to,” Shore stated. “On the plus side, there is no other pastime that will reimburse for its use, with the cost of gold today.”

Even at those prices, Langos does not intend to commence selling the jewelry he’s found. He has a few pieces he’d like to get back to the owner, such as a large class ring from Missouri. He’s contacted online to a man with a matching name but hasn’t had a response.

Langos has a few spots on McHenry County’s lakes he investigates regularly. “I find a lot of coins and garbage. It can be a needle in a haystack” when he does have a search request locally. “People throw their garbage in the water and it is all bottle caps and beer cans.”

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