Good afternoon: My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to provide general information regarding your question. Generally, there are no set standards amongst every police department as to how to treat what is termed as "lost or mislaid" property. However, most (if not all), police departments will conduct at least some cursory investigation
in an attempt to locate its true owner. They use common investigation techinques which may include: looking at the property itself to ascertain its owner, contacting nearby agencies to determine if anyone has filed a report of the missing item, looking inside the property, if it can be done without damage to the property, or even using outside information (i.e., a serial number, etc) in order to attempt to locate the owner. It also depends on what, if anything, is inside. For instance, if the items inside are not particularly valuable or useful, they may simply dispose of the property as they see fit (usually by physically destroying it if no one claims it). If the item is of value or important, they may conduct further inquiry. It is important to note that investigations conducted by police require resources (i.e., time and money). So, if the item is not useful or valuable, law enforcement may dispose of the property in order to preserve the time and money needed for the investigation and direct those resources to other more pressing issues (i.e., crimes). Any questions on what I have provided? If so, please feel free to ask and I would be happy to assist further. If not, please remember that experts here are not employees of JustAnswer and do not get credited for assisting customers until the customer clicks ACCEPT and rates the assistance provided (regardless of whether or not the customer has a "subscription"). Your cooperation in this regard would be appreciated!