Lost and found offices are places where people can retrieve lost items found by others. These offices are often located in public buildings or areas such as museums, amusement parks, and schools. They are usually located near the main entrance and are clearly marked.
Below are some subcategories of lost and found offices that relate to different locations:
Airports: airports often have lost and found offices for items lost on airport property. This may include items lost in the terminal, at security checkpoints, or on the aircraft itself.
Cab services: many cab services have a lost and found system in place. If a passenger leaves an item in the cab, they can contact the cab company's lost and found office to get it back.
Train stations: There are also lost and found offices in train stations. These offices take care of items that have been lost on the trains or at the station.
Museums and amusement parks: These facilities often have a lost and found office where visitors can report or pick up lost items.
Schools and universities: Educational institutions usually have a lost and found office where students can report or pick up lost items.
Public transit agencies: public transit agencies such as busses and streetcars often have a lost and found office. Lost items are usually held for a period of time before being disposed of or sold.
Shopping malls and retail stores: These facilities often have a customer service department that also acts as a lost and found.
Generally, lost and found offices will attempt to contact the owners of the lost items if they have identification. However, if the items are not claimed after a certain period of time, they are usually sold, given away or discarded to create storage space.
Interestingly, the concept of lost and found dates back to a code in Japan in 718. The first modern lost and found office was established in Paris in 1805. Today, large organizations like Transport for London process more than 130,000 items a year, including 24,000 bags and 10,000 cell phones. In Japan, the lost and found office in Tokyo processes more than 4 million lost and found items per year.