Police department maintains lost and found

Everyone is familiar with that sense of panic. Reaching for a cell phone to update Twitter and coming up empty will put knots in a person’s stomach. The only hope is someone else knows where it is.

When an item is turned into the police department, it is logged into the system and held at the station for at least sixty days, according to the University Police website. Items such as cell phones, clothing, and eyeglasses are given to various charities after the sixty-day holding period.

“We’ve had a lost and found here for a long time,” said University Police Chief Bob Pastula.“Cell phones are one item we receive a lot of.”

After the sixty days, cell phones are taken to Hope House, which he said works with members of the military, or Rape Response, a 24-hour facility available to victims of sexual assault.

Pastula said they send eyeglasses to the Kiwanis Club where they are refurbished and given to developing countries in need.

Clothing items are sent to the Salvation Army or Loaves and Fishes, where they are cleaned and sold, he said.

Bicycles have previously been donated to Loaves and Fishes where they were repaired and given to families in need, but now, Pastula said, he would like to send them to the Outdoor Adventure Center.

Junior Maggie Beech said she thinks donating the unclaimed items is a “great idea.”

Pastula said jewelry and other high-dollar items are typically held longer than 60 days.

“The more expensive stuff we’ll keep a little bit longer,” he said.

A skateboard and a guitar are among the unclaimed items.

Pastula said computers and electronic devices are also kept longer as the police attempt to identify the owner.

He said if a student loses an item, it needs to be reported as soon as possible. The police will check to see if it has been turned in and if not, they will take the student’s name, phone number, location and a description of the item.

“We have a list of people who lose things and if we find something, we check that list,” Pastula said.

The system the police department uses to return lost items to students is efficient, Beech said.

“Having a system for logging the items is better than just collecting them,” she said. “It also protects people’s stuff — especially something like a cell phone that’s private.”

The University Police Department is located in the basement of Keller Hall and can be reached by phone at 256-765-4357.