Just about anyone who has flown has lost something during the trip. The federal government says only about 20 percent of items it finds are claimed. At Sacramento International Airport, most of the remaining property goes to a small city in southern Nevada.
Mike Plott is the independent contractor who picks up bins full of items from Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Reno, Las Vegas, Guam and Sai Pan airports.
"We sort through them, photograph them, describe them, sell them on EBAY," says Plott. The profits then go to the city of Boulder City, Nevada.
City Finance Director Shirley Hughes says the general fund received $96,533 from the sales last fiscal year and about $84,000 the year before.
As recently as 11 years ago, the State of California was like other states in that it took possession of unclaimed property left at airports. The state then sold the items. But, California stopped the profitable practice and asked someone else to do it.