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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    From the pocket to the auction block

    From the pocket to the auction block

    While some people think belongings lost on campus are gone forever, there’s a small chance students’ lost property could end up in the possession of someone else for a bargain price.

    Lost items found on campus by university employees or turned in by other students go through a holding process that ends with them being returned to the owner, sold off in auctions or destroyed, said Chelsea Olson, a supervisor at the lost and found center in the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Most lost items go to the lost and found first, Olson said.

    “”Lost CatCards are by far the item we get the most of,”” said Kolleen Kenyan, a family studies sophomore who works at the union’s information desk. “”We also get a lot of debit cards, cell phones and keys.””

    The items are stored and logged into a book sorted by categories such as books, keys, wallets and bags, Kenyan said.

    If a name is on the item, the student will be looked up in the UA Phonebook or Googled and then contacted.

    If no name is on the item or the student can’t be reached, it will be held until an owner comes to claim it, for up to one month.

    “”If someone comes in here looking for something they’ve lost, we ask them questions about it,”” Kenyan said. “”If they give us a pretty accurate description of what it is and where and when they lost it, we give it back to them.””

    Owners come to claim their lost property about half of the time, Kenyan said.

    “”We’ve gotten all sorts of things turned in here,”” Olson said. “”We’ve had guitars, band instruments, books, clothes, skateboards and a lot more. One time, five sombreros were found downstairs, and I have no idea where those came from.””

    The Student Recreation Center also keeps its own lost and found, but the items commonly lost are different from those turned into the information desk.

    “”Sweatshirts and bathing suits turn up here all the time,”” said Tamara Rose, a Rec Center employee.

    Most of the items found at the center are left in lockers overnight, Rose said.

    Items recovered by the University of Arizona Police Department are placed in evidence and held for up to 90 days.

    Some items that are in good condition and deemed valuable are given over to the Surplus Property Office, the department in charge of disposing of excess university property.

    “”We always try to find a way to figure out who lost the property and get in contact with them,”” said Officer Frank Romero. “”But most things we get here don’t have names on them and get destroyed after the holding period.

    “”However, if someone loses something like an iPod that’s in good condition, we might turn it over to surplus to auction off.””

    The Surplus Property Office holds public auctions every other Tuesday at a warehouse south of campus at 1145 S. Warren St.

    While most of the lots for sale are tools, furniture or large pieces of equipment replaced by the university and that are no longer needed, some items come from the lost and found center, including clothes, shoes, cell phones and iPods.

    The auctions start at 8 a.m. and typically last a few hours or until all bidding is concluded.

    Auction lots are available for preview online starting at 4:30 p.m. the Monday before at uaauctions.arizona.edu

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