Losing it! Inside Gladstone's cop shop den of missing goods

FOUND IT: Lost property officer Vicki Larner and assistant property officer Tanya Dwine with a vast array of lost property at the Gladstone Police Station.
FOUND IT: Lost property officer Vicki Larner and assistant property officer Tanya Dwine with a vast array of lost property at the Gladstone Police Station. Mike Richards

AUSTRALIA may have lost the Ashes in the past, but to actually lose the ashes of a loved one is certainly one of the rarer things Gladstone police property officer Vicki Larner has seen in her time.

From a deceased person's ashes, to wallets, phones, footy gear and pushbikes, plenty of random items have made their way across the lost property desk at the Gladstone station, during the 12 years Ms Larner had been at the local station.

"We've found wallets on tops of roofs two or three years after they've been reported missing," she said.

"We have actually had a deceased person's ashes, that was impossible to find the owner for and we actually ran an ad for those."

Lost property that makes its way to the property office has a statutory 60-day period to be claimed, before it's either returned to the finder, destroyed, or donated to a charitable cause.

Ms Larner said one of the difficulties of reuniting lost items with their owners in Gladstone was the transient nature of the workforce.

"A lot of people in Gladstone who do lose their property aren't from around here," she said.

"We'll do all sorts of things, we'll look at receipts in wallets, you get creative to try to find the person who lost their wallet."

She said as well as plenty of near-new pushbikes, which often are never recovered, bags of clothes were also common items of lost property.

Items of lost property were usually destroyed after 60 days, unless they deem it something charitable or auctionable, however the finder of said items did have the option to make a claim, most commonly for a mobile phone, if they chose to, after the statutory period.



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