TSA: More than 34k items left behind at O'Hare each year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For illegal items such as guns, Chicago police deals with that, but what about those personal items that make it through security but don't make it with you? The TSA showed off items that people lost at TSA checkpoint areas.

Their secure office is packed with items and they can only hold a month's worth of lost items.

About 34,000 are lost each year at O'Hare's TSA areas which includes 14,000 laptops. While most of the laptops are claimed, most of the other items are not. The laptops not claimed in 30 days are scrubbed and donated or destroyed.

"Ideally, their own business card it's great to have that on the bottom of their laptop just in case you lose it. We can easily get a hold of those people," Owen Winder, TSA customer support manager, said.

Lou Lopez stopped by to see if they had his belt lost earlier in the week in the busy security line.

"She just had a lot of different items, so my belt got kind of pushed back and in the rush of people going through, I just walked off without it," he said.
The reality is Most of the items are not claimed and some would seem to hold sentimental value.

"It's pretty obvious when you see a child's toy or a wedding ring, or engagement ring, that it's incredibly important to those people and we want to do everything we can to get it back," Winder said.

Some good news for Lopez--he was reunited with his belt.

If you've lost an item at TSA at O'Hare it's recommended to call them as soon as possible at 773-377-1210.

TSA recommends putting a business card or your contact information on valuable items.

And putting anything loose away before you get to the checkpoint.

"The best strategy is to take any loose items and put them in your carry-on bag in a zipped closed pocket," Winder said.

The things that aren't collected are donated to the State of Illinois and likely auctioned off.

Some of the most unusual things left behind is $18,000 in cash, a double stroller and a glass eye.
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