I've lost it! 我的东西丢了!

英語學習點: Vocabulary: Lost and Found 失物招領

Image caption Transport for London makes a big effort to return items left behind by passengers

Five years after they disappeared, lost jewels belonging to the wife of the US ambassador to the Netherlands have been found.

Dawn Arnall had already received an insurance payout for her loss.

However, the misplaced gems had been found and held for safekeeping by a hotel she stayed in. Staff were unaware the jewellery was worth $9m (57 million yuan).

The world is full of forgetful people. A man in the English town of Reading even left a sausage casserole in a bus. The dish ended up in the lost property office until it was recovered by his mother, eager for her dinner.

A walker in the Lake District had his food in his mouth but... what about his teeth? After climbing a hill in 2007, David Packer stopped for a chocolate bar. He took his false teeth out, wrapped them up in a tissue and just forgot about them. It took more than a year for the walker to be reunited with them.

Over the past 78 years passengers on London's transport network have left behind items including human skulls, gas masks from World War II and breast implants. Since 1934, staff have handled an average of 200,000 items a year. Recently they have used computers to try to track down their owners.

But if you find something and can't locate the rightful owner, is it finders keepers, losers weepers? It depends on what's found and how, says John Spencer, professor of law at the University of Cambridge.

"If you pick up a coin, you can keep it unless you saw someone drop it, as you wouldn't be able to find the owner by taking reasonable steps."

If it's a larger sum, you should report it to the police but if the item has been abandoned, the property is yours. One man's loss is another man's gain!