Found a set of keys; how do I return them?
March 1, 2011 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I found a set of keys in my pocket. How do I return them?

Last night I stuck my hand in my pocket and came up with a stranger's set of keys. Very little identifying information on them, and I have no idea how they got there. I must have picked them up by mistake, but honestly there weren't many opportunities yesterday for me to have done this.

How do I return them? Here are the options I've tried so far:

-backtracking where I was yesterday
-asking around at work
-walking through the parking lot at work pressing the remote buttons
-Craigslist post
-calling the number on the remote, but it was for a car unlocking service the remote provides and they can't identify individual cars
-there was a phone number w/out an area code on one of the keys; I tried combinations of that with different area codes

Here's a description of the set, in case that helps:
-four keys total, one car-type, three house-type
-one car remote
-the car key is a copy, so no indication of the make of the car, but the copy code means it could be a Toyota, Suzuki, or GM
-on one of the house keys it says "Alexander" and has a seven-digit phone number, no area code

Any other ideas?
posted by world b free to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
> on one of the house keys it says "Alexander" and has a seven-digit phone number, no area code

Have you tried calling around using local area codes with that number? That would seem to be the logical first step.

Also, go back to where you were the past day and walk around pressing the car remote to see if you can get any car to chirp. If you do, there's your owner and it shouldn't be hard to track them down from there (assuming the car hasn't since been towed or something).
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Call your local police department. The police may suggest you turn the keys in, this is likely a good idea. Then call the places you were yesterday, ask for lost and found, and ask them to leave a note describing the key ring and the phone number of the police station that has the keys.

Update the craigslist post suggesting that anyone who might have lost a key ring in X, Y, or Z locations should call and describe it to the local police department.

It's great that you're trying to reunite the keys with their owners. We had to replace a remote (albeit a fancy remote that also turns on the car) last year and it ran us around $300.
posted by arnicae at 12:53 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: the OP says "there was a phone number w/out an area code on one of the keys; I tried combinations of that with different area codes."
posted by proj at 1:00 PM on March 1, 2011


If you do go back and retrace your steps while pressing the car remote, you should report the found keys to the police before doing so - otherwise you may find an angry owner who thinks you're trying to steal their car and you'll have nothing to show otherwise.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 1:05 PM on March 1, 2011


At my library they subscribe to a telephone directory called Reference USA. I just tested it using my own phone number without area code, and it gave me 15 results, nationwide. Obviously, this doesn't include unlisted numbers and cell phones, but it might be worth a try. (If you don't have this, memail me and I'll give it a try.)
posted by bentley at 1:10 PM on March 1, 2011


Did you have your coat hanging up on a coat rack anywhere yesterday? That seems like the most likely opportunity for someone to have put their keys in the pocket thinking they were putting them in their own coat.
posted by MsMolly at 1:19 PM on March 1, 2011


Ah, no, it was my pants pocket.
posted by world b free at 1:22 PM on March 1, 2011


Have you tried Googling the 7 digit number?
posted by maryr at 3:40 PM on March 1, 2011


Yeah, Google didn't turn anything up.
posted by world b free at 4:41 PM on March 1, 2011


Mass email to everyone at work?
posted by fixedgear at 6:23 PM on March 1, 2011


Is that where you usually put your own keys?

Run through your day thinking about your own keys and what you did with them. Might unblock something.

Was anyone out of work the day you checked? Might have taken a sick day to deal with lost keys troubles. Also might not have answered the call for lost keys because they already had replaced them and didn't want to deal with the embarrassment.
posted by gjc at 7:41 PM on March 1, 2011


Why don't you give your number to the car unlocking service people and tell them to call the owner on your behalf? They don't have to violate their privacy policy and the customer wins.
posted by grak88 at 8:43 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


@ grak88, the remote company can't trace individual remotes to car owners...I called them to check this out, and they only put their 800 number on the remotes so car owners can call them in emergencies. They can't remotely unlock the car or something like that.
posted by world b free at 4:03 PM on March 2, 2011


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