What do a laptop, custom-made guitar and diamond ring have in common?

Karen Tyler, senior clerk, UT Health San Antonio Police Department and Scott Hartung, warehouse supervisor, Materials Management

If you’ve recently lost something, it may be waiting for you at the Lost and Found at UT Health San Antonio’s Parking Services.

While a diamond ring and custom-made guitar are more unusual finds, the university’s Parking Services has seen a plethora of recovered items over the years, from credit cards, phones, laptops and USBs to scalpel sets, lunch boxes, jewelry and cash. There are also a lot of unclaimed keys, especially vehicle keys.

“Anything you can lose, we find,” said Scott Hartung, warehouse supervisor, Materials Management. “Most of the time it’s odds and ends like one earbud.”

After 60 days of storage at Parking Services, items with personal information like USBs and cell phones are destroyed. Other unclaimed items are transported to the university’s warehouse, where Hartung prepares them for an online auction if items remain unclaimed after another two months. Funds from the auction go to the university’s general fund. If valuable items like laptops are turned in, but go unclaimed, they will be wiped and auctioned.

Most lost items are recovered in the university’s parking lot, near Starbucks or at the Academic Learning and Teaching Center, said Karen Tyler, senior clerk, UT Health San Antonio Police Department.

Reporting a lost item is easy.

“People can bring an item to UTPD or call dispatch to send an officer to pick {it} up,” Tyler said.

Parking Services will note information such as where and when the item was found and the name of the person who found it.

Once an item is brought to Lost and Found — most often by campus security or faculty — representatives from Parking Services call the item into dispatch, where it is logged into their Automatic Records Management system, Tyler said.

For items like credit cards, the name on the card can be cross-referenced with employees, faculty, students and residents to try to identify the owner. Typically, if a credit card is not claimed within 90 days, it’s shredded at Parking Services.

“We shred a lot of credit cards,” Tyler said, estimating that they receive about six lost credit cards a month. Of those, only about one or two are claimed.

Most commonly, lost items include costume and real jewelry, earbuds and chargers. Sometimes, however, valuable items are turned in, but go unclaimed. A diamond ring that was found about a decade ago was unclaimed and later auctioned off. Hartung recalled that a custom-made guitar that went unclaimed was auctioned off for upwards of $700.

In the past, Lost and Found would hold almost all lost items — including clothing. But that has since changed. Now, clothing can be deposited into a bin at the Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library.

To view items that may be up for auction from UT Health San Antonio, click here and search under the seller name. Currently, the university is not listed as a seller because there are no items up for auction. The next auction for the university is anticipated sometime during the week of May 29.

To report a lost item, bring it to Parking Services at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Campus or call UTPD dispatch at 210-567-2800 ext. 3.


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