Man seeks to reunite strange lost items with owners
Published Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:05AM PDT
Lost belongings trouble Darren Martin, who created the website www.ItsLongGone.com last year as an online venue for people to search for their missing possessions.
"People lose stuff everyday. Tons of stuff," Martin told ctvbc.ca. "My goal is to be able to help people help themselves."
How it works is people post messages about their lost or stolen items on the website in hopes that someone will see their stuff somewhere and return it to them.
He cites Blackberries as the most frequently lost item, while ATVs and bicycles are the most likely to be stolen.
Not everything reported missing is run-of-the-mill.
"The weirdest thing was a gas mask," Martin said. An anonymous person left it behind at a fetish party in Vancouver last year.
A big, concrete garden Buddha was also stolen from someone's front lawn in Surrey in April. The smiling statue used to rest before a sign reading "KARMA."
The success rate for recovering missing belongings on the website is five per cent.
Postings of sentimental losses, like wedding rings that have disappeared, haven't faired well.
Tina Hough, 32, of Port Coquitlam, B.C., was devastated when a family heirloom fell off her finger back in February. She's had no luck finding the jewellery that used to belong to her grandmother, which is a wedding ring, an engagement ring and a band welded into one.
"I'm crossing my fingers," she said, but no one has responded to either her post on Martin's site or the one she put on Craigslist.
Hunting for lost treasures online is a good way to be discreet.
One Burnaby man posting on Craigslist said he hasn't seen his wedding ring since he misplaced it playing basketball in May. Although he hasn't had the good fortune of getting it back, he has been able to keep it a secret from his wife, he told ctvbc.ca.