Phones top list of items lost in trains

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Phones top list of items lost in trains

Bicycles, dentures, money, even pets - absent-minded riders have left them all behind on Seoul’s subways this year.

Of the 23,230 lost items found in the city’s subways between January and April, bags topped the list, with 6,222, followed by 4,181 cell phones, and 1,276 instances where cash was left behind, the city government said on Monday.

The cell phones are the easy items to return, one government official said: “We call a family member listed on the owner’s cell phone and tell them to come get it.” The rest can be trickier, but officials said they have managed to return 77.5 percent of the lost items - including 77 million won ($61,300) of the 84 million left behind, and a bicycle worth 3 million won - to their rightful owners.

Forgetful passengers who realize their mistake should inform a staff member at their station’s information center, or contact the Seoul Metro Call Center (02-1577-1234) for subway lines 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. (02-1577-5678) for lines 5, 6, 7 and 8, and Metro 9 (02-2656-0009) for line 9. Officials will need to know the name of the station, the train’s number, the section passengers rode in, the time they disembarked, and a description of the lost belongings.

The call centers don’t offer foreign-language services, however, so expatriates and tourists are advised to contact the Seoul Global Center (02-1688-0120) and report the same information there. The center will work with Seoul subway’s lost-and-found centers to locate the items.

Valuable items that go unclaimed for 18 months go to the government, and less-valuable items are donated to charity.

By Kim Mi-ju []
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