More than 70,000 items of lost property go missing on the Tube

16:30 01 January 2013

The Lost Property Office is based at Baker Street. Picture: TfL

The Lost Property Office is based at Baker Street. Picture: TfL

Archant

Just one quarter of the lost property discovered on the London Underground last year was restored to its owner.

It first opened its doors at the end of 1933. Picture: TfLIt first opened its doors at the end of 1933. Picture: TfL

Almost 72,000 items were unearthed on the network between January and October - with the majority mislaid Oyster cards, credit cards and other books.

A total of 10,817 separate items and bags of clothing were also lost during this period, with 1,326 eventually reclaimed, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Around one in 20 pieces of the 2,220 items of jewellery mislaid on the Tube was returned, while 833 pairs of gloves remain locked up at Transport for London’s lost property office in Baker Street.

Unclaimed items become the property of TfL after three months and are either donated to charity, recycled or auctioned off - with the money going towards the running of the lost property office.

Among the unusual items found are false teeth... Picture: TfLAmong the unusual items found are false teeth... Picture: TfL

On average, one in four items is restored to their owner. Higher value property generally has a higher success rate.

Manager Paul Cowan said: “We do our best to reunite people with their property, through a combination of our own detective work, using the computer system and through passengers contacting us to claim items.

“Although we store property for three months, sadly a large number of items remain unclaimed after that period.

“It is always rewarding when we can reunite passengers with their items, they are always surprised by how honest people have been in handling in their property.”

...and a puffer fish. Picture: TfL...and a puffer fish. Picture: TfL

The figures also show a substantial rise in lost property over the summer months - during the Olympics. Some 9,236 items went missing in July 2012 compared to 7,617 in June.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of gloves found was at its highest in January and February.

The 656 found in these two months was more than those discovered over the subsequent nine months.

With a nod to London’s wet summer, the highest number of lost umbrellas was found in July - with just 22 returned to their grateful owners.

TfL’s Lost Property Office - key facts

The Lost Property Office first opened its doors to the public at the end of 1933.

Helmets and gas masks were often lost during the Second World War and in 1954 the most common item lost were pairs of gloves - with 90,632 received.

Mobile phones have certainly increased in popularity.

In 1998 2,496 were recovered but in 2011 the amount received went up to 25,539.

The office is based at 200 Baker Street, London NW1 5RZ and is open to customers Monday to Friday, between 8.30am and 4pm except for public holidays.

Enquiries can be made by contacting 0845 330 9882 or by visiting www.tfl.gov.uk/lpo

Latest London transportation news

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The Night Tube map showing which services will run all night

Just 24 hours after the Night Tube launch date was finally officially announced, London Underground maintenance and engineering workers have voted to go on strike in a continued dispute over pay and staffing levels.

Monday, May 23, 2016
The girl was struck by a train at Catford Bridge station (	Photo: Sunil060902)

A schoolgirl was hit by a train at Catford Bridge during this morning’s rush hour.

Monday, May 23, 2016
The road by the station has been blocked off by the police (Photo: Chris @Southern_Trax)

Southeastern trains were unable to run on the Woolwich line this afternoon when an unidentified object sparked a security alert at Erith station.

Monday, May 23, 2016
There has been a signal failure at Leytonstone Tube station (Photo: Matthew Black)

London’s busiest Tube line is part-suspended this morning, as a signal failure at Leytonstone halts eastbound trains.

Monday, May 23, 2016
The Night Tube map showing which services will run all night

Transport for London (TfL) and City Hall have today announced an official start date for the Night Tube after months of speculation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Do you recognise this man? (Picture: BTP)

A 34-year-old man was punched in the face on a train leaving Paddington station after his attacker made ‘anti-Muslim’ comments, British Transport Police (BTP) said today.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport