Misplace something in Medford? Good luck

From time to time I've lost stuff in downtown Medford, but never anything too expensive that it was a big deal. But recently I left a backpack with some personal items in it at Vogel Park. Does the city have a lost-and-found that keeps found things around so we owners with mind-farts can get our stuff back?

— Stephanie, Medford

Well, Stephanie, we at Since You Asked intended to answer this question last week but we misplaced your email in our own version of cranial flatulence. We put in a call to the Medford Police Department to see whether someone had turned it in to the city's lost-and-found department, but Lt. Mike Budreau said the city doesn't have one.

"We don't have the ability to store property in an ongoing lost-and-found," Budreau says.

But the city does have procedures to try and reunite people with their lost property.

First, each found item taken to the department gets a case number and report, Budreau says. If officers know who owns it, they try to get it to them, he says. Those items remain on hand for at least 90 days, he says.

For items in which the owner is unknown, there are different procedures based on how valuable the lost items are.

For items valued at more than $100, the finder can put in a claim for the property, Budreau says. The process includes filing papers with the county clerk. It is spelled out in Oregon Revised Statute 98.005.

For items worth less than $100, the finder can put in a claim after 30 days in a procedure that's handled within the department, Budreau says.

Items not claimed are sold at auction or donated to charities, he says. Lesser-valued items, or personal ones such as eyeglasses, generally are destroyed after 30 days, Budreau says.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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