Prague passengers lose more items each year

The municipal lost and found sees many strange things left behind

Public transportation users are getting more forgetful. The number of items left behind has been growing steadily in recent years. The increase might also reflect that people are using public transportation more often.

The Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) does have a lost and found, and makes an effort to return items to those who lost them.

In 2017, passengers left some 6,453 items behind, and about 35 percent were returned. In 2016, some 5,601 items were left behind and 2,170 were returned. The trend goes back further. In 2015, out of 4,746 lost items, 1,704 owners were found. In 2014, there were 3,476 lost items with 1,206 returned.

Personal documents last year accounted for about 1,000 of the lost items.

The list of items included the usual suspects like umbrellas, but also many stranger things ranging from live animals to musical instruments. A young python and a hedgehog were among the pets left behind. Luckily, it was not at the same time. A cat owner also went home without the cat’s bed, and no doubt faced some scowls and angry meows. Musicians left behind a guitar, a violin, and a ukulele, while a majorette lost her baton.

More practical items included a fan, a drill, a tripod, a stove grill and part of a radiator.

A Spider-Man mask was left behind, and hopefully, the local Peter Parker was able to get it back, though he might have been reluctant to ask as people claiming items have to present an ID and Spider-Man’s identity is a secret.

People have also been left behind, including a sleeping child and an elderly man who needed assistance from a caregiver.

“Unusual losses in public transport also include medical aids such as crutches, dental prostheses, glucometers, pedometers, hearing aids, and bracelets. They also forget things used to relax in nature. Last year the transport company registered a fishing stool, tomato seedlings a hedgehog, a hoe, a barbecue, a tent and a mushroom basket,” DPP spokeswoman Aneta Řehková said, according to daily Metro.

The items found by drivers on public transportation eventually go to the city’s central lost and found at Karolina Světlá 5 in Prague 1, which also gets luggage and items from the train stations and Václav Havel Airport Prague.

But before they end up there, there is a chance to get the lost items back from the DPP directly. Passengers can call the DPP information line at 296 191 817 as soon as they realize an item was lost and asking if the item was found on a particular line. If the bus or tram is still running, the dispatcher can have the driver can check for the item and the passenger can get further instructions.

Passengers who find something should turn it over the to bus or tram driver or to the information booth at a metro stop.

The DPP holds on to items for up to a week and then each Thursday gives them to the city’s lost and found.

People looking for lost items that are not still in the possession of the DPP can contact the lost and found at Karoliny Světlé 5. The phone number is 224 235 085, and there is an online form as well.

Lost animals are taken to shelters, and not the lost and found.

Items on which the owner is demonstrably known, such as ID papers and insurance cards, are transferred to the DPP’s Central Registry at Sokolovská 217/42, Prague 9.

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