Lost and Found Has a 60% Return Rate

Some interesting stats here. From the New York Post/Associated Press:

Did you lose your loincloth at Burning Man?

RENO, Nev. – Lindsay Weiss once lost her cellphone and got it back, so she and a friend knew what they had to do when they discovered a camera under a pew during a festival in the Nevada desert – even though it meant giving up their coveted, shady seat for a musical performance.

The friends snapped a quick selfie and took the device to the lost-and-found, so the owner could claim it and the pair could “forever be a part of their journey,” Weiss said.

“Losing something out there on the playa makes its mark on your trip,” she said of the sprawling counterculture gathering known as Burning Man. “Kinda makes you feel like a loser.”

Cameras and IDs are among the more common belongings that end up in the lost-and-found after the event billed as North America’s largest outdoor arts festival. Other items left behind in the dusty, 5-square-mile encampment include shoes, keys, stuffed animals – even dentures.

Still missing are a marching band hat with gold mirror tiles, a furry cheetah vest, a headdress with horns and a chainmail loincloth skirt.

Terry Schoop looks at lost and found items. photo: AP

“As of mid-November, we’ve recovered 2,479 items and returned 1,279,” said Terry Schoop, who helps oversee the recovery operation at Burning Man’s San Francisco headquarters. “We have about a 60 percent return rate,”


This year’s haul included:

582 cellphones

570 backpacks or bags

529 drivers’ licenses, passports or other forms of identification.

200+ shirts or tops,

100 jackets,

80 hydration backpacks,

50 pairs of eyeglasses,

six suitcases

several dozen water bottles, including one with the desert-appropriate warning: “Stop Not Drinking.”

Be on the look out for still-missing items:

Other articles lost-but-not-yet-found include a wedding ring, a flute, “fire nunchucks,” a stuffed bunny – “daughter’s since birth,” and a “dark-leafy-print bandanna lost on the playa somewhere around the giant flamingo.”

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