BEST LOST AND FOUND
The former owners of a floral-print plastic giraffe, bright pink Razor scooter and slide guitar will probably never see them again. Such is the fate of 80 percent of the objects that wind up at TriMet’s lost and found, a rectangular 500-square-foot, fluorescent-lit backroom in TriMet’s Southeast Portland headquarters (4012 SE 17th Ave., 962-7505, trimet.org).
Most businesses have a lost and found where people return to claim misplaced possessions. But for TriMet riders, that range expands to 52 miles of MAX light rail, 79 bus lines and 14.7 miles of WES commuter rail. “People leave their items for every reason under the sun—they’re tired, distracted or have had a long day at work,” says TriMet spokeswoman Angela Murphy. “But it all ends back in the same place.” There have been penitentiary blueprints, bones from Portland State University’s biology department and an urn filled with cremated remains. TriMet’s lost and found keeps these orphaned items for two weeks before donating them. Last year, 21,258 items were unclaimed.
There are a few success stories—three ukuleles were recently reunited with their owners. Station agent Mark Rotella says people who do find their items are ecstatic. “They usually want to hug you,” he says. “I’m like, ‘No, thanks.’” SARA SNEATH.