One of the most common issues Tasmania Police deals with on a day-to-day basis is property. This includes:

  • property that has been lost,
  • property that has been found by members of the public, and
  • property that has been stolen or recovered from a stealing incident.

This information is intended to deal with property that is lost or misplaced rather than stolen. Stealing is a crime and should be reported to police (see below).   

What should I do if my property has been stolen or, I have found suspected stolen property?

Stolen property should be reported to police as soon as possible. To make a non-emergency report about a theft, contact the Police Assistance Line (131 444) or visit your local police station. Call Triple Zero (000) if a life threatening or time critical emergency is underway.

I have lost something, what should I do?

You can report lost property by visiting your local police station ( ideally, the nearest police station to where you lost the item). Provide as much detail as you can about the missing item/s and if possible, the location it was lost. Your lost property report will be recorded with the police station property office.

Some businesses and operators also manage their own lost property and can be contacted directly to help you locate your lost property. For example, if you lost something on a bus or in a taxi, contact the company to report the lost item (as well as the local police station). If you lost items at a public event or facility, contact the event/facility management about the item. This may increase the odds of your item/s being recovered.

If you have lost an item while visiting Tasmania, report your item lost at a police station in person before you leave the state. This will make it easier for you to follow up an insurance claim for lost items when you are back at home. You will need to contact Tasmania Police via the interstate number (1800 765 827) if you are no longer in Tasmania.

I need to report an item as lost for insurance purposes, what do I do?

Report your item as lost at the nearest police station as soon as possible and provide details of your report to your insurance company in line with their policies.

I have found something, what should I do?

If you find an item, depending on where you found it, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • If you found the item within a managed facility, at an event or on public transport, you may be able to hand it in to staff at the location you found it. Many businesses and facilities will manage lost property directly in the first instance. If in doubt, or you think the item may be illegal or stolen, you should take it to the nearest police station.
  • You can take all lost items to the nearest police station no matter where you found the item.

If I find an item, including money, can I keep it?

No, you cannot keep it. This is considered ‘stealing by finding’ and is an offence under the Criminal Code Act 1924 and the Police Offences Act 1935.  Under the law, you must hand the item to police, or return to its owner, within 7 days of finding the item.

How long do Police hold lost property? What happens once this time lapses?

If you take a lost item to a Police Station and it is not claimed within 3 months, you can ask for it to be returned to you. When you hand an item into police, you will receive a receipt. You may use this receipt to claim the item if the owner has not been located. The item then becomes your property.  

Not all items can be returned to the finder after 3 months e.g. if the item you found contains personal information (for example, a wallet), is illegal to have, or any other reasons as outlined in relevant Acts and policies.

What happens to property that isn’t claimed by the finder, or returned to the owner?

If an item is not claimed or returned, it may be sold, and the funds are returned to Treasury. If an item is deemed to be of ‘no value’ it will be appropriately disposed of if it is not claimed.