November 14, 2013

Found Property, Lost Owners

The Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has returned nearly $11,000 worth of lost property, but there are still many items sitting unclaimed.

Sgt. Pat Signorino
Items in the University's lost and found are kept for 60 days before being donated to charity. Photo by Danielle Lacey

The number of lost wallets and car keys that make their way to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and go unclaimed is a bit surprising to the officers who work there.

There are currently 10 wallets — some of them with cash, credit cards and IDs — sitting in the small lost and found closet in the Marvin and Harlene Wool Center, according to the department's searchable lost item database.

Items found or turned into officers with DPSEP are all logged and entered into the online system, and the department holds on to items for approximately 60 days before donating unclaimed property to the Salvation Army. Anyone who's lost an item can report it through the system, as well. 

"We have a lot of unclaimed property and we're working real hard to try and reunite students with their belongings," said Daniel Lalor, a public safety officer with the department.

And he's had quantifiable success.

"During 2013, Officer Lalor has been able to return about $11,000 in property to students, staff, faculty and sometimes even visitors," said Sgt. Pasquale Signorino, field supervisor with DPSEP.

Some of the strangest items that have been turned into the lost and found include a safe, a 32-inch TV, a check belonging to the U.S. Treasury Department and a SLU class ring from the 1960's that had been passed from father to son (that item was returned to the student, who was a second generation Billiken).

Found items can be returned to the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or community members can contact the department at 314-977-3000 to arrange a pick-up.

University community members can protect their property by registering their property online or with the department. Bicycle and laptop registration drives are held regularly throughout the academic year.

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