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Holiday season sees lots of missing items at Sky Harbor Airport

Some of the various missing items travelers left behind at Sky Harbor Airport. (Tom Perumean/KTAR News)

PHOENIX —  Did you lose something at Sky Harbor Airport? If so, you better act fast.

Airport officials said more than 50 items a day pour into Sky Harbor’s Lost and Found inside the airport’s operations center between Terminals Two and Three.

And there isn’t a lot of room for stuff to pile up.

“(People) have 10 days to call and claim their item,” said Janice Torres, a worker in the lost and found department. “Anything of value will go to police, everything else will go to the Salvation Army.”

Sky Harbor, like airports across the world, collect the items found in the terminal areas.

This includes the restaurants, restrooms, buses, parking garages and the Skytrain.

If you lose your keys, they hold them for 30 days and then if they do not get claimed, they are destroyed.

Items vary from luggage (both full and empty), clothing, strollers, toys, glasses and wallets containing less than $100. There are also more expensive items such as jewelry, electronic games, cell phones and laptop computers.

If you lost something in the terminal and call to get it back, Torres says to be ready with details.

“You have to describe your item to a “T”,” she says.  “We get a lot of jewelry in — so we need a picture, some sort of proof of purchase—we’re not just handing items out to everybody.”

Cell phones are another item that’s frequently lost. If your cell phone is found and turned in, be prepared to help officials make sure it’s yours.

“If the phone is locked, you have to be able to unlock it,” she said.

The lost and found department is closed on weekends, so with that in mind, officials have lots of voicemails to get through on Monday mornings.

If you lose something, personnel can hold items for you for two weeks so you can reclaim it or ship it back to you, but you will need to pay the cost of shipping.

Torres says they try to work with the person who lost an item.

“We let them kind of explain where they lost it, so we can help them locate where it might be,” she said.

Items lost beyond the checkpoints are held by TSA for 30 days and items left on an airplane are in the custody of the airline.

“I love it when we can reunite people with their items, “ Torres said, beaming with pride.

“We had a young girl who lost her grandmother’s ring, the grandmother had passed away, it was returned here and she was able to reunite with the ring.”

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