News & Politics

Lightsabers, Hermes Belts, and White Claw: What the DMV Left in Ubers in the Past Year

We're forgetful about our stuff! All kinds of stuff.

Items from Uber's annual Lost and Found Index. Photograph courtesy of Uber.

Last week, Uber released its annual Lost & Found Index, a chronicle of all the items left behind by passengers. As usual, this past year’s menagerie of the forgotten ranges from the mundane—clothing, phones, backpacks, and keys—to the absurd. Some gems from the national list: pet hamsters, an ankle monitor, 16 ounces of fake blood, a Danny DeVito Christmas ornament, and, perhaps most perplexing, “my girlfriend.”

You can’t help but wonder about the stories attached to each item: What were the results of the “important pregnancy test”? Is the person who lost their rash cream doing better? What about the poor soul who went without their catheter insertion kit? And where was that oddly specific “power of attorney document issued by the Turkish consulate” headed anyway? 

It’s an intriguing glimpse into the lives of our fellow Uber-taking Americans and it made us curious: What did Washingtonians leave behind over the past year? Luckily, Uber ran the data for us. While we weren’t among the top ten most forgetful cities—the very fine but apparently very distracted people of Jacksonville, Florida, took first place—there were some interesting findings:

The most “forgetful” dates—based on how many lost reports were submitted—in DC, MD, and VA

  • April 5, 2022
  • December 18, 2022
  • January 1, 2023
  • February 4, 2023
  • February 17, 2023

Readers, what happened on April 5? Not only was it one of the most forgetful days in DC, Maryland, and Virginia but also the nation. New Year’s Eve, on the other hand? That makes perfect sense. So does December 18, which was the final Sunday for last-minute shopping before Christmas. As for February 4 and February 17? Well, it was February, arguably the bleakest month of the year. Can you really blame people?

DC’s most commonly lost items

1. Clothing
2. Phone
3. Backpack

“Clothing” means “gloves,” right? Or maybe “brand-new sunglasses?”

MD’s most commonly lost items

1. AirPods
2. Jacket
3. Phone

VA’s most commonly lost items

1. Phone
2. Jacket
3. iPad

Nothing particularly surprising or novel here—but a good reminder to enable the Find My function on your Apple devices!

Most “unique” items lost in DC

Last but not least are the items Uber graciously calls “unique.” Many sound like the curious vestiges of a larger story. For instance, who forgot their Hermes belt and—more importantly—what do they do for a living? Was it a rambunctious bridal party or a teary-eyed child who lost their flower crown and teddy bear? And why was police equipment in the back of an Uber?

Anyway, here’s the list:

  • Lashes
  • Broomstick
  • A 12 pack of White Claw
  • “Documents”
  • Two jars of body cream
  • Teeth aligners
  • A black Yeezy slide
  • A dental bridge/tooth
  • A small rubber eyepiece
  • A flower crown and teddy bear
  • A tent
  • “Lip injection” lip gloss
  • A ukelele
  • An Army cadet picture
  • Dior cologne
  • A women’s Hermes brown belt
  • A violin

Most “unique” items lost in VA

  • Kettlebell gym equipment
  • Pool cue
  • Light saber
  • Colorful Crocs 
  • Glenfiddich 12-year-old whiskey
  • Detergent 
  • Vape 
  • A birthday card 
  • Bed linens
  • A capricorn glass
  • Police equipment

Most “unique” items lost in MD

  • A government laptop
  • A steak
  • “Your Number” 
  • A retainer
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Surya meat 
  • A pack of Swisher Sweets cigars
  • A carseat and binky 
  • Eyelash glue
  • “My Feathers”
  • “Ticket to Graduation” 
  • A Bible 
  • “Velvet Tom (Just one)” 

Should you have the story attached to any of these items—or, better yet, an explanation of what the heck a “Velvet Tom” is—let us know!

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor