What To Do If Your Device Goes Missing On Campus

Stay Calm and Carry On

Being a student is not easy. It’s almost like a 24 hour job. We have so much on our minds: lectures, course material, and deadlines for pre-labs, labs, assignments and quizzes. Our minds are like a highway with constant traffic and are so crowded that sometimes we lose track of our belongings. While in a hurry to get to class on time or to submit an assignment in the drop box before due time, we forget to take a note of where all our stuff is. The most common missing objects are mobile phones and laptops, as over 90% of the student population own laptops/mobile phones.

The first step to look for missing objects, no matter where you are, is to retrace your steps. Try to remember all the places you have been since you last remember seeing the lost item. If it’s been only a few hours, your best bet would be to go back to the places you have been or to the main office of the building you were last in. For example lost articles in the Physics building are turned in at the Main Office in Physics. When a device is handed over to Main Office they try to figure out who the owner of the device is. If they are able to glean any information they contact the owner through email and let them know where they can pick up the device. Computing service desks (provide a link to the list that IST maintains) are another good place to check to see if anyone has turned in a piece of technology.

Sherlock gives Dr. Watson a hug.

It’s okay Dr. Watson… you probably just left it in Dana Porter.

If staff are unable to find out who the device belongs to, they generally hand over the device to UW Police. The ever-increasing traffic and population on campus, together with the size and number of buildings, necessitates the need for a central point of collection for Lost and Found articles. UW Police therefore maintains a university lost and found in the General Services Complex, which is where found articles are turned in. The UW police retain such articles until the devices are claimed by the owner. Unclaimed devices are normally kept by UW Police for a period of 60 days. After this period, if there is still no owner, the article is disposed of. UW police is open 24 hours a day, so any one looking for lost objects can contact them anytime at extension 22222. (Due to the volume of found items, UW Police will not retain items with an estimated value of less than $100. Such devices are usually taken to the Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre.

If you are suspicious that your device has been stolen, the university has a way for you to report this theft. Unfortunately, theft at the University of Waterloo does occasionally occur. To assist in the recovery of stolen property, UWaterloo has created a webpage for recording information about you, the stolen device and the serial number of the device. The serial number is a requirement that has to be filled in the form, which is why it is important that you record the serial numbers for your devices and keep them somewhere safe. Should one of your items be lost or stolen, this information will assist you in recovering the item. The serial number reporting form can be found on the Police Services website.

Other places to look for lost items, include the Turnkey Desk in the Student Life Centre, and the Equipment desks in the Physical Activities Complex or Columbia Ice Fields. On social media, the University of Waterloo group on Facebook (provide a link) has some traffic on lost and found items.

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[1] [Sherlock Holmes]. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1955355/images/o-SHERLOCKHOLMES-facebook.jpg