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Station holds key to lost property

The Northland Northern
BYLINE: Kristin Edge
Link to Article

Whangarei, New Zealand

2011-02-10_INT_Station holds key to lost property_01Bulging Bucket: Hundreds of sets of keys have been handed in to lost property officer Joe O'Malley-Ostermeyer at the police station Photo/Ron Burgin

There's one man at Whangarei police station who may unlock the mystery over your lost keys.

Lost property officer Joe O'Malley-Ostermeyer has hundreds of sets of keys that have been found all round the city and he is urging anyone who has mislaid keys to check with him before ordering a new set.

A green bucket is close to overflowing with the mislaid metal and colourful keyrings.

There is one solid brass key that looks like it could unlock the front door to a castle.

Keyrings include expensive electronic car door openers.

Another has an orange plastic tiki, another a piece of sheep skin and a third a family photo.

What is clear from examining the pile of keys is that Whangarei people are clearly a thirsty bunch with most key rings containing a bottle opener.

Most of the keys were found in the central city or in supermarket carparks.

Mr O'Malley-Ostermeyer recommended people write their name, but not their address, on their keys, so if they were handed in it would be easier to track the owners.

"It's virtually impossible to find the owners for these keys.

"A name would really help us."

He welcomed anyone who had lost keys over the last six months to come and search through the bucket.

People who have lost keys in other areas of Northland were advised to contact their local police station.

During the summer break numerous wallets containing cash have been handed in by honest Northlanders.

"People who come in and have their wallets returned are so grateful they often want to say thanks to the person who has handed it in," Mr O'Malley-Ostermeyer said.

Other items missing an owner include a green and black spear gun, two tapa mats and a concrete drill.

Contact Whangarei station on 09 430 4500 if you think any of these items belong to you.

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