Lost and Found Property
Responsible Office: New York State University Police
Policy Type: Security and Safety
Policy Number: 816
Last Date Revised: 1/31/18
This University procedure deals with lost and found property. It promotes the return of lost or mislaid property to the owners and confers on the State University of New York the authority to take custody of found property and make final disposition of found articles that remain unclaimed. University Police has primary responsibility for lost and found property and has implemented a detailed procedure for handling these situations. The finder of lost property, including all cash, eyeglasses, wallets and purses, checkbooks, and items with an identifiable owner, is required to return the property to the owner or deposit such property with University Police. A record of such transaction will be retained for a period of three (3) years by the University Police.
All offices that have found property will forward such property to University Police for appropriate action. University Police will need the following information to assist them in returning the property to the owner.
- The location where found
- Date and time found
- Name, if known, of owner
- Name of finder
- Address and telephone number of person finding item
- Name, address and telephone number of person turning property into University Police
University Police should be notified immediately of any wallets or other important personal property that have been found.
The New York State statute prohibits an officer or employee of the State from claiming the property as a finder, if he takes possession of it in the course of his duties. If the finder is a student, then he is entitled to the property providing it has been kept for the statutory periods set forth in the Personal Property Law. The Personal Property Law requires that the police department hold the property, depending upon its value, for a specific period of time. If the owner does not claim the property during this period of time, then the finder may claim the property within a certain period of time following the holding period. If neither the owner nor finder claims the property, then the property will be disposed of in an appropriate manner as regulated by the New York State statutes and University policies. A record of such transaction should be retained for a period of three (3) years.
Direct all reports of lost property to University Police. This information will be maintained on file at University Police. This file is compared against the found property reports. When reporting lost property include any identifying marks that would enhance the description of the item lost.