Campus Safety and Security

Abandoned, Found, Removed, or Unclaimed Property

Section: Campus Safety and Security Policies
Policy Name: Abandoned, Found, Removed, or Unclaimed Property
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: University of Delaware Police Department
Origination Date: October 11, 1988
Revisions: March 1, 1996; March 2020
Legacy Policy Number: 7-33
  1. PURPOSETo establish a uniform and consistent policy for the retention, accounting, and disposition of abandoned, found, removed, or unclaimed property.
    1. Lost/Found Property – property that which has been mistakenly left behind by an owner who may or may not be known.
    2. Abandoned Property – property that has been clearly left by its owner with no desire to claim the property in the future.
    3. Theft or Lost or Mislaid Property – this occurs when a person exercises control over the property of another which is known to be lost, mislaid, or incorrectly delivered without taking reasonable measures to return to its owner, and is a criminal offense.
    4. Appropriate Authority – is a designated person or office location within the University of Delaware where lost/found and abandoned property is deposited or maintained.
    1. Any University of Delaware employee finding, coming into possession of or removing lost, or unclaimed property shall forward these item(s) to the Appropriate Authority within or the nearest facility in which the item was located. If the property is found and there is not an Appropriate Authority that would be responsible for taking possession of the property, the University of Delaware Police Department would then be considered the Appropriate Authority.
    2. Abandoned Property where the rightful owner is immediately known, such as items left behind in a dorm room, may be disposed of as seen fit by the finding department (i.e. Residence Life and Housing).
    3. Any person or office designated as a deposit point for such items shall maintain a log containing a description of the property, date, and location found, and disposition of the item(s). Each designated deposit point shall set its own internal policies regarding accepted items, retention periods, and disposal of held items.
    4. When the property that has been abandoned, found, removed, or unclaimed has an approximated value of $500 or when currency is found and amounts to a total of $50 (United States Currency or the equivalent value of another currency) the University of Delaware Police Department will be immediately notified and the property will be turned over to a University of Delaware Police Officer.
    5. Property can be returned or released to a rightful owner if that person can reasonably demonstrate ownership. Claimants shall provide identification to claim an item.
      1. Any questions, concerns, or disputes in determining rightful ownership should be immediately referred to the University of Delaware Police.
    6. In cases where an employee or agent of the University is the finder, the property will be disposed of in accordance with established departmental procedures.