Glass eyes, prosthetic ears, walking boots, laptops, cellphones, and samurai swords. Those are just some of the items recovered from Valley Metro light rail trains and buses.
According to Raphael Santiago, the Public Transit Department Clerical Supervisor, items taken to lost and found that are not claimed may be given to charity or thrown away. "If it’s items of importance, like IDs or paperwork, we shred that to make sure no one has access to it," Santiago said
Items taken to lost and found are held for seven days. Why only a week? Santiago said they don’t have the space to store lost items longer than seven days.
As far as the recovery rate of items, Santiago said it was “pretty high” before COVID-19. Since then, it has slowed down. "It depends on the week. Some days, there are a lot of people who come in for their items, and other weeks people don’t even bother."
Santiago said holidays are usually the busiest time for lost and found. "Usually after holidays is when it’s the biggest surge in lost items." Santiago said it’s hard to explain why people are losing items around the holidays. It’s something they’ve taken notice of.
Santiago said many of those items found and sent to lost and found are bicycles. Bicycles that are not claimed end up at a city of Phoenix auction.
Any lost items recovered by Valley Metro are turned over to lost and found at 302 N.1st Ave, Suite 120, on the northwest corner of 1st Avenue and Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix.
I wanted to know how riders can reach out to lost and found. Santiago said the contact number is 602-534-5053. The hours of operations are 8 am to 4 pm, Monday thru Friday. No appointments are necessary.
So, if you should lose something in transit, it’s possible that Valley Metro has found it.