So recently my friend lost a laptop in an auto rickshaw and did all possible to make sure it can be traced and returned back; which means contacted police and informed locals.While the search is still on, it rings a bell to me and wish to share what can one do to face such an incident.
I don’t think all of those who find the lost items want to keep it with them. But most of them find it hard to trace it back. Imagine if you found a laptop as you boarded the rickshaw what would you do? You have to go to a meeting and you find it lying in the seat? Will you take efforts to trace it back and how will you trace it back? If the laptop is password protected and you are not that computer geek, you are going to have a hard time figuring out where to begin to trace the owner.
You see, not all might want to hoard it. But on the contrary, may find it difficult to return it to its rightful owner.
I lost a phone. I almost lost my glares and my friend’s wallet. I also returned a card holder with some money back to the owner. So here is my take on what I did and what you can do!
1. You can put an identification mark with contact details on possible items.
Make a custom sized sticker and paste it on back of your laptop, charger, power banks or other similar carried electronic item. This sticker can contain details such as “This item belongs to ”
In 2016, I visited the World Culture festival and for that period, I made such sticker and stuck it all across my electronic accessories. Even my bags. It may look laughable. But I was at peace. I knew I gave my best and if at all i happened to forget due to any reason, at least i am making it easier for people to return it back or least communicate with me.
To give an example, since I made an identification mark for my glares box. I got a call almost minutes later i forgot it a pharmacy store when he noticed i had put a phone number on it. I instantly went and claimed my glares.
2. You could also laminate a custom size card with your contact details and keep it in your handbag’s front and back pocket or wallet or laptop bag.
3. Before you move out local transport. Say you get up from your seat, look back and see if anything dropped by mistake. Say the soap from your shopping bag or your spectacle box or maybe your wallet or phone. Ensure and move out of seat or vehicle.
I also almost lost a wallet. As we moved out the seat, suddenly i realized my friends wallet is still lying in the rickshaw seat. I grabbed it instantly. The rickshaw owner almost panicked thinking I am stealing but I ensured it was ours. So a simple check may help.
4. Also try to keep things in one bag than multiple bags. You can buy one big bag. Back pack would also work in case you are travelling in Mumbai locals, so you can move clutter free. And you can have more attention and you wouldn’t most probably leave out things anywhere.
5. Update your information card. In my case, i had hard time figuring out contact details for the card holder i found. I checked the card for information to contact person and found that the contact number was now obsolete. This made me doubt whether the home address might be accurate. I had to contact the phone operator finally to get the updated number and it took me nearly 3 hours to hand it back to the person.
6. I also lost a phone but I never knew how to reclaim it back. It costed 1800 rupees then but since the cost was not much i found it difficult to do the entire process also because I was not okay going to police station and initiate the enquiry.
Again, imagine you got a mobile phone in a rickshaw. What will you do? For sure, it will ring but will you pick up each call? A call from a known number is much easier to pick up. So if you name your dad as dad, sister as sister, mom as mom or even Boss; it is easier for the person to pick up. So save numbers right. A locked phone is difficult to access and figure out which are your family contacts. In such a case, the only way to know is to attend the calls and hope they are the right contact to communicate to the person.
You could also update the “owner’s info” on your lock screen which can display “in case of emergency contact ”
So to conclude, most people might think that people steal it. But I think that’s not entirely true. There are a majority who are clueless since there is no dedicated set of instructions to return the item to its owner. There seems no dedicated department to report and even if you do it, it will take some time and efforts to track down the owner. So the above is not a guide, this is just a set of things i think will work. Please share how will you make it easier to return a lost item to its owner. What are your tips?
Do you have any experience? What worked and how?