It’s common to see things like keys, phones and coats in any lost and found.
A prosthetic leg? Not as common. But it’s one of the many oddities that have passed through C-TRAN’s Lost and Found closet over the years. (The wayward limb was happily reunited with its owner.)
At C-TRAN, our Customer Service representatives are the keepers of the Lost and Found. They keep a detailed index of what comes through. Each item is numbered, sorted and logged.
“We do our best to find out who it belongs to,” says Becky Johnson, a C-TRAN Customer Service Representative. “We’re quite organized with our Lost and Found.”
Among the other unusual items to find their way to C-TRAN’s Lost and Found: the top half of a set of dentures, a full oxygen tank, a mannequin and a box of live crickets. Our representatives get a chuckle at some of the strange items they encounter in Lost and Found, but the goal remains to find each item’s owner, however strange it may be.
Anything that’s found on a bus or C-TRAN facility is placed in one of several secure bins around our system. A C-TRAN representative periodically travels to each of those sites and brings the items back to the main Lost and Found closet in our administrative offices at 10600 N.E. 51st Circle in Vancouver. That’s when items are indexed and sorted, Johnson says.
Most items are kept for one week. More valuable items – think jewelry, phones, wallets or computers – are held for up to two weeks.
Calls that come in for Lost and Found items are logged as well, Johnson says. When someone asks for their lost item, C-TRAN will identify the item and number if it’s there, match it with the description and have the customer come pick it up. Customers should always call ahead to make sure their item is in our Lost and Found before making the trip to the C-TRAN office.
Most unclaimed items are donated to local nonprofits through a series of partnerships C-TRAN has with those organizations. Our partners include the Arc of Southwest Washington, Open House Ministries, YWCA Clark County and others, depending on the type of item.
Not every item can be donated. Those crickets, unclaimed, were released to a better life outside of their box.
Other representatives recall luggage, a machete, musical instruments and a giant stuffed bear turning up in the C-TRAN Lost and Found.
“There’s always something different,” Johnson says. “It’s not always the same items that come in.”