Everyone loses something sometime. Yet recovering lost property or taking of urgent protective measures are not quite so easy. Usually the police deliver any lost and found items in their possession to the lost property office within ten to fourteen days. And there they sit patiently for six months or until they are claimed.
If the owner of the item is known and lives in Dusseldorf, then they are informed in writing. Items belonging to those residing in another city are transferred to their municipal lost property office accordingly.
Lost items belonging to foreigners living abroad are often sent to the respective government representation such as the Consulate or Embassy. And if they are aware of contact details such as email-address, they will inform the owner.
The 24/7 hotline 116 116 for lost cash and credit cards in Germany leads to a central service which helps block any lost or stolen cash or credit cards. It can also apply to other sensitive items like mobiles, smart phones or employee cards. The call is free of charge within Germany.
Any found items can be handed in to the municipal lost property office (Fundbüro) to a citizen’s office (Bürgerbüro) or a police station (Polizeirevier). If after six months the true owner cannot be identified then ownership of the found item is normally transferred and notice delivered in writing. Some items left in trams or buses such as bicycles and umbrellas are auctioned at regular intervals.
On a lighter note: Your editor once discovered the script of a gift card in a store in the centre of Düsseldorf that read: I keep trying to lose weight… but it keeps finding me again!