Valuable Items Abandoned Left Unclaimed at Bradley Airport - NBC Connecticut

Valuable Items Abandoned Left Unclaimed at Bradley Airport

(Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016)

Ever wonder what happened to your stuff that disappeared while traveling?

NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters found that people leave some pretty valuable things at the airport, but surprisingly they never go back for them.

State police said just last year, people left about 800 items behind at Bradley Airport.

“For some reason, people do not call”, said Trooper Fernando Hernandez, of the Connecticut State police.

Hernandez is in charge of the lost and found at Bradley Airport. When items are left anywhere in the airport, other than on a plane or at TSA, they end up at his office.

NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters noticed many suitcases full of clothes and other items went unclaimed.

“They return from their trip and we find that they are left curbside,” said Hernandez, while opening a suitcase full of items. “They put the kids in the car and maybe get home and realize, ‘I thought you put the bag in there.’”.

Anything from a MacBook Pro and other laptops, a professional quality Sony camera, art work, a motor cycle helmet and more, were all left unclaimed.

“A flat screen T.V. was left curbside and no one called looking for it because I imagine they assume it was gone,” explained Hernandez. He also said cell phones, laptops and other devices often get left when travelers plug them in to charge then forget to come back.

People traveling from outside of the area may not bother to contact the airport because they don’t think there is a way for them to get their items back even if found. Not true, Hernandez said if a person pays for the shipping, they will FedEx items out of state or town to the rightful owner.

When items are found to be abandoned at the airport, Hernandez said first they are sniffed by a K-9 unit to make sure they are safe, then they’re taken to a temporary holding unit for 30 days, where they are logged into inventory.

After that, they can stay in long-term lost and found for up to one year. However, the area gets pretty packed, so some things are stored in an overflow annex out back, or at state police Troop H.

We noticed 1 entry on the log for a wedding dress, Hernandez said that was claimed, but adding, wedding rings often turn up at the lost and found, and never get claimed.

Although they try to find who the items belong to, most things don’t have any information that would indicate the owner. Travelers should write their name on electronics and even carry-ons in case they end up leaving them at the airport.

“We have had Rolex watches, currency,” said Hernandez. “We had $650 someone honestly found in an envelope and turned in.”

Nobody claimed that either.

Hernandez said when money is unclaimed, it gets taken to the Department of Treasury and the State of Connecticut gets to keep it.

Everything else is auctioned off by the state or donated to charity.

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