Keys, Cellphones, Laptops: We Dig Through TSA's Lost and Found at MSP

Updated: 05/22/2014 10:29 PM
Created: 05/22/2014 7:29 PM
By: Josh Rosenthal

Deep in the bowels of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration has a room dedicated to lost and found. Ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer travel season, they asked if we wanted to take a look.

Inside we found keys, laptops, cellphones, driver's licenses, and just about everything else you can imagine. They were all left at security checkpoints at MSP within the last month.

"It's hourly," explained Transportation Security Officer George Callow. "It's possibly happening as we speak standing here."

When TSA officers spot something left behind, they'll make an announcement, and a lot of times that works. Paul Pieper left his watch behind while we were there.

"I would have forgot about it completely," he said, "but the security person was calling out and (asking) if anybody forgot a watch."

If Pieper hadn't come back, his watch would've ended up in the lost and found. Items stay there for 30 days. After that, they become federal property and often times they're auctioned off.

"One tip for passengers," said TSA Spokesperson Lorie Dankers, "is when you leave the checkpoint, just double check your belongings to make sure you have everything you need, and don't just say I know it's in here."

After all, some pretty important stuff comes through security, like when an Olympian walked through right after the winter games.

"She was talking with people, walking away, interacting with other passengers," remembered Callow. "It was really a nice thing, and all of the sudden I realize, 'uh miss, miss,' and I pick up the bin. 'You've gotta take this, you kind of left your medal.'"

Callow wouldn't name the Olympian, only saying she won a silver medal.

If you think you've lost something at a security checkpoint in MSP, you can call TSA lost and found at 612-486-6176. If you think you've lost something anywhere else in the airport, you can call MSP lost and found at 612-726-5141. The TSA also has more lost and found information posted here.

Get tips to avoid leaving items behind here from the TSA.

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