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The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

The student news site of Chantilly High School (Chantilly, VA)

The Purple Tide

From lost to found: Security office reunites owners with their belongings

Smith looks through the security cameras to track a lost item.
Claire Baek
Smith looks through the security cameras to track a lost item.

The cold, bare AirPods lay trapped in a bin in an unknown office, longing to be picked up by their owners. The number of AirPods waiting in the security office for weeks and months increases daily.

“I had once lost my AirPods in a classroom and looked around the lost and founds in my classes, but wasn’t able to find it,” sophomore Carrie Chia said. “I tracked it through my phone and it led me to the security office, where I encountered a whole bin full of AirPods.”

There are a number of lost and founds in CHS: most people are aware of the small cart in front of the main office, the small box in the gym, and the shelf in the cafeteria, but the security office located next to the lecture hall also holds lost items, mainly technology.

“Most students don’t know the existence of the security office until the staff direct them here,” head of security David Smith said. “But when students do visit the office, one in four find their lost item which is a pretty good number for a public school.”

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What differentiates the security office from the other lost and founds is the help security staff may provide in finding the lost item. With accessibility to the security cameras, the security staff is able to help track the lost item’s location and in this process, can find if it was lost or stolen. 

“We only allow the use of cameras to backtrack the item’s location when the student remembers the exact location and approximate time because it can be lengthy and we don’t have a lot of time to do that,” Smith said. “We barely use the cameras, but it’s totally an option open for all students.”

While a lot of water bottles are placed in the lost and found shelf in the cafeteria, most lost technology, such as phones and AirPods, make their way to the security office to reduce the risk of theft. While in the security office, technology is kept safe by making sure a student confirms it’s theirs before returning it to them.

“If they have an iPhone missing, we will have them stand there and enter their password into the phone to make certain that it’s theirs,” Smith said. “For AirPods, we check if the phone successfully and automatically syncs to the AirPod.”

On the other hand, there are also clothes, water bottles and other items stored in the security office. However, because not many know about the office, most lost water bottles are found in the lost and found in the cafeteria or the gymnasium. 

“I would have gone to the security office to look for my water bottle if I had known of its existence, but I just found out about it recently,” junior Lela Murati said.

Sophomore Ananya Prasath reaches for her lost bottle on the lost and found shelf in the cafeteria during lunch. (Claire Baek)

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About the Contributor
Claire Baek
Claire Baek, Sports Editor
Claire is a sophomore in her second year with The Purple Tide. Outside of school, she enjoys doing rhythmic gymnastics and hanging out with her friends on the weekends. She is part of the Class Board of 2026 and tries her best to get involved with the school.
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