Monday, July 28, 2014

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NY1 News celebrates the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal with a week-long look back the history of this New York City landmark.

Grand Central Terminal At 100: Terminal's Lost And Found One Of The World's Most Efficient

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TWC News: Grand Central Terminal At 100: Terminal's Lost And Found One Of The World's Most Efficient
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If you ever lose something on the Metro-North Railroad, your odds of getting it back are pretty good, because the Lost and Found at Grand Central Terminal is one of the world's most efficient. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.

Marie Miller's son left his wallet on a Metro-North train and thought it was gone for good until she got a call from the Grand Central Terminal Lost and Found.

"Everything is in it," she said. "This is really great. So the money is there, the credit cards are there. Unheard of."

But it's really not unheard of. With over 2,000 items lost on trains and in stations each month, the lost and found at Grand Central has an astounding return rate of 80 percent. For electronics like iPads and e-readers, the return rate is even better: 100 percent.

How? Everything is meticulously inventoried from where it was found to what it looks like.

"What train, what time, what train car, what train car number, on the floor, on the seat, in the overhead bin, what color, what shape, what brand, what shape of handle," said Dan Brucker, manager of tours for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "Every single thing is entered into a data bank."

Once an owner is identified, they are contacted and told what they need to do to get their property. Lost and found manager Melissa Gissentanner said her crew often works a lot like detectives.

"Being very detail-oriented, committed employees who know what the purpose is down here," she said.

As you might imagine, you can basically find just about anything in the lost and found. For instance somebody is still waiting for a Christmas gift, and another person had to rent their skates the day they went skating because they left them on the train."

"Nothing really surprises me so much anymore," Gissentanner said. "I've seen teeth. I've seen hearing aids."

Siraj Chowdhury lost a pretty common item: his briefcase, but it was full of vital documents. He is a repeat customer.

"I lost something in the past and I got it back," Chowdhury said. "I had most important documents. My U.S. passport, my United Nations passport and my national passport. But I got it back."

The way Gissentanner looks at it, people are pretty honest. She said we are good people here in New York, better than people might expect us to be.

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