TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Amidst the holidays many of us are giving and receiving valuable items. The question is, what do you do if those items are lost or stolen. Tucson police say they have the answer - their lost and found program.
“This was a program that can sort of seal those gaps and get the property back to the owners that would normally go in the trash,” Nancy Mckay-Hill, evidence superintendent for the Tucson Police Department, says of the lost and found program.
The program is online and entirely free. It’s done through a web platform that was actually started by a former South Tucson police officer who has since retired. He saw the need for a program like this so he created Foundrop.
Essentially how it works is simple, you go onto the Foundrop website, you create an account, and you register any items you want on Foundrop. Those items are private and can only be seen by you until you decide to mark them missing. Then, Tucson police will see them and know who to contact should they find an item. Similarly, when TPD officers find something in the field they can post a photo and description of the item on Foundrop for all users to see. From there people can claim the items and get in contact with police to get the item back.
In the year that the lost and found program has been in place, Tucson police say they’ve been able to return a variety of items ranging from laptops to family heirlooms to an Alpine, AZ, firefighter’s badge. And not only has it helped them to return items, it’s also helped officers to solve crimes.
“They had multiple expensive knives and somebody had recognized them on Foundrop so we were able to get the knives back plus we were able to go and catch the person that had actually done the burglary," Mckay-Hill said.
Since its creation other police agencies have signed on to use Foundrop for similar lost and found programs but Tucson police were among the first to utilize the platform.
Mckay-Hill says that the lost and found program has about 150 items on average that come through each month. They’re currently averaging returning one to two items a month.