Lost and Found
Most honest people know if an item of value is found, it is their duty to turn it in to police. I've seen countless good samaritans bring in purses, wallets, jewelry, and even cash. We are happy to accept these items and make every attempt to locate the rightful owners. Although we encourage people to turn in found property and unwanted itmes such as firearms or ammunition, there are some things we are less than pleased to accept.
A few weeks ago an elderly man was cleaning out his storage shed and found a box of old electrical looking things. He didn't know what to do with them so he walked into our precinct and handed over the box to the desk aid. She placed it on the counter in the main area of our building and waited for an officer to properly impound the items. I was in the middle of briefing with my squad when a Lieutenant burst in and commanded, "Everyone out! We're evacuating the building immediately." As officers and support personnel emptied out of the building we were told of the contents of the box brought in by the old man: Blasting Caps.
These devices are small explosives used to detonate larger explosives like TNT. The blasting caps themselves are dangerous because they can explode when in contact with fire, electricty, or impact. We had to wait outside until the bomb squad arrived to safely remove the small explosives.
Another helpful citizen was hiking in a nearby mountain preserve. After summiting on a very popular trail, he decided to do a little exploring off the beaten path. He strolled through the desert scrub looking for different plants and wildlife when he stumbled upon a more rare item; A human jawbone.
Instead of marking the location and notifying police of a potential homicide crime scene he picked up the jawbone, wrapped it in his fleece jacket and drove to the police precinct to deliver his find. We took possession of the bone but prompted the man to lead us to the spot on the mountain where he found it.