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Riders' lost items make interesting finds

August 30, 1998

Lost and FoundBy MATTHEW BIENIEK / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer [enlarge]




There's no telling what items might turn up in a lost and found box.

A pound of raw ground beef, a shopping bag full of paper towels and toilet paper, crutches, tennis shoes and gym shorts are among the items that have made their way to the lost and found drawer at the County Commuter offices, said Kim Kepler-Thomas, supervisor and dispatcher at County Commuter.

It's rare for someone to call at the County Commuter's 1000 W. Washington St. office to claim an item, said Kepler-Thomas, who is in charge of the lost and found.

The ground beef was kept in a freezer for a while, but no one ever claimed it, she said.

"We only get calls if it's a pocketbook or wallet with money or jewelry in it," she said.

A purse or any item containing money found on a County Commuter bus is inventoried by the driver and a dispatcher as soon as possible after it is discovered, she said. A logbook is used to keep track of each item that comes in, she said.

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Cell phones are among the items people tend to leave behind in taxis.

Cell phones left in cabs have been known to disappear, said Rick Miller, head dispatcher at Turner Taxi in Hagerstown.

"Usually the driver didn't know it was left, and then we get a call and it's long gone," he said.

Miller, who began working as a cab driver in 1989 and has been a dispatcher for about three years, said beepers and car keys are items frequently left behind by passengers.

One driver, who asked that he not be identified, said he occasionally finds marijuana joints, rocks of crack cocaine or pills under or between the seats.

"They go in the first trash can I can find," he said.

The lost and found cabinet at the YMCA in Hagerstown is always full, said Diana Lynn, membership director.

Men's and women's underwear, glasses and car keys are among the items that have ended up in the lost and found.

Items not claimed in six weeks go to Goodwill or other charities, she said.

Most of the items left behind are not claimed by their owners, Lynn said. Winter coats are an exception. The owners eventually claim them, she said.

"In the dead of winter we have a lot of coats turned in. You wonder how people left them without realizing it," she said.

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