Finders keepers

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Five hundred and ninety-one coats, 642 books, 944 sets of scriptures, 1,242 cell phones were lost and returned to students last year.

For those items not returned, the Lost and Found Office hosts a sale and auction each year. Saturday, Oct. 15, students can pick up some deals in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom. While the sale starts at 9 a.m., Taylor Wilson, lost and found manager, said most of the commotion dies down by 10:30 a.m. Some fanatics camp out the night before, others are in line at the crack of dawn to get the best of the pickings.

The BYU Lost and Found Office collects items from forgotten storage units underneath on-campus freshman housing, EFY programs around the country and things left on campus. They are held for three months and then put in the sell pile or donated to charities.

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Every year, BYU Lost and Found sells thousands of unclaimed items at their annual sale and auction. Some students are so excited to get their hands on what their classmates left behind, they camp out the night before.

Kelsey Fearnley, 20, was an EFY counselor this summer in the Midwest.

“I lost my favorite watch one of the weeks I worked; maybe I will find my watch at the sale,” she said.

Wilson said his office sells a variety of valuable items at the sale including snowboards, projectors, TVs, calculators and USB drives.

He said the office sells nearly 70 percent of its items and the remainder is donated to Deseret Industries. However, there are items from the lost and found not up for sale. If they are not returned, scriptures are given to the Provo MTC, whlie glasses and cellphones are given to the United Way and charities for battered and abused women.

“They take out the SIM cards and erase everything so they can use it to call 911,” Wilson said.

They have numbered bidding paddles for the auction where people will be able to bid on some of the most valuable items like iPods and cameras.

The atmosphere is crazy and hectic like a real auction.

“People are always looking it [items] up on eBay on their phones and then bidding for it depending on what they find there,” Wilson said.

Connie Livingston, from the Dean of Student’s Office, said the money raised at the sale goes to departments like the Student Activities Board. It helps fund campus events like Acoustic Explosion for all students to attend.

The Lost and Found office is responsible for trying to return lost items to their owners. If the name of the person is on the item, employees can look up their email address on the BYU directory. If the name is not listed, they don’t have such luck. Wilson said the best thing for students to do if they have lost belongings is to continue calling or stopping by the Lost and Found Office.

Lost items can be turned in at the lost and found office or in the dropbox on the main floor of the WSC.

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