Police stations at capacity with lost property

Bryce Eishold

Stolen and found property is “bursting at the seams” at police stations across the Latrobe Valley, with officers claiming there’s been an influx of items handed over in recent months.

Property stores located in police stations at Moe, Morwell and Traralgon are full to the brim, leaving police officers scrambling for solutions to store the thousands of items.

Morwell police station property officer Katrina Palaamo said facilities at police stations across the region were “overloaded” with everything from bicycles to jewellery.

“We can only hold lost items for three months and if it’s not claimed within three months, the items are either donated or auctioned off or even destroyed depending on the type of item,” Ms Palaamo said.

“The bikes are overloaded. I have no room for bikes or skateboards or scooters, I have a locked cabinet full of jewellery with electronics as well but people will need to be able to provide evidence the lost property is theirs.”

Ms Palaamo said there were dozens of electronic items including iPads and mobile phones, to clothing and wallets and backpacks.

“For people wanting to find out whether an item has been handed over to police, for example a bike, they need to provide evidence to state it is theirs,” Ms Palaamo said.

“I’ve had heaps of calls but no one can describe their bike. People need to keep receipts or especially photos to be able to identify it is theirs. That’s not just for bikes. People should take photos of personal items like jewellery too.”

People wishing to check whether a stolen item is at a local police station should ask to speak to the property officer.

A phone call before visiting a police station is recommended.