In 2019, as many as 9,800 items were brought to the Lost Property Office in Warsaw, while in 2018 there were 9,700 such items. Lost property included mainly documents, cell phones, watches, and electronics.
Warsaw’s Lost Property Office is located at 15 Dzielna St. Last year, it accepted 639 cell phones, 412 watches, 106 tablets, 58 laptops, 33 cameras, and 36 readers. Other items found somewhere in the City and brought in here included 18 rings, 18 wedding rings, and 14 pendants.
“People bring in various items, mainly documents, cell phones, electronics, watches (including smartwatches and smartbands), cash, jewellery, bags, and backpacks. But there are also unusual findings, such as a forklift truck, a horse riding helmet, a TV, a drone, and an electronic translator,” said Arkadiusz Rączkowski from the Administration and Civil Affairs Department, who supervises the Office.
Found items are brought in mainly by institutions, such as the police, municipal guards, Warsaw Metro, Chopin Airport, Kopernik Science Centre, cinemas, and shopping centres.
Office staff try to find and confirm the identity of the owners of those items. To do so, they call the phone numbers on name cards they find in folders or documents, or – in the case of cell phones – recent phone calls, or they contact people by e-mail (where possible and if the device has not been locked).
As regards the items without any documentation or contact data, only 8% of such things are returned to their owners each year.
How you can pick up your lost items
In order to pick up something you’ve lost, you need to go to the Office at Dzielna St. and show some proof of purchase or other document to confirm that it’s your property. If this is impossible (e.g. a wedding ring, a watch, or a ring), you will need to accurately describe your lost item and anything that is distinctive about it, and say when and where you might have lost it. You will also need to pay for its storage and maintenance, and cover the cost of any measures taken so far to find the owner.
All items are stored for two years from the time they have been found and reported. After this time, the ownership is transferred to the finder, provided that they come to collect the item by the relevant deadline. If the item is not collected, it becomes the property of the City of Warsaw under Article 19 (1) of the Found Items Act.
Where you can look for your lost items
Information about lost items is published, i.a., in the Public Information Bulletin, at the information board of the Lost Property Office, and at the Electronic Notice Board of the Warsaw City Office. For the information on the opening hours and contact details of the Office, please visit http://bip.warszawa.pl/Menu_podmiotowe/Urzad/Biura_Urzedu/AO/Ogloszenia/Biuro_Rzeczy_Znalezionych.htm
Warsaw’s Lost Property Office was established 67 years ago by the National Council of Warsaw. Currently, it is part of the Administration and Civil Affairs Department of the City of Warsaw. Its functioning is governed by the Found Items Act of 20 February 2015 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 908), and its own Rules and Regulations, as defined by Ordinance 284/2017 of the Mayor of Warsaw of 17 February 2017.