Lost your belongings in a NYC cab? Here’s the shortcut to getting it back
So you left your __________ in a NYC taxi. Lucky you, what to do next?
While leaving a phone can result in “Find my Phone”, getting in touch with the driver, or a friendly good Samaritan passenger, it is significantly harder to find a non-phone valuable (i.e., a purse, backpack, computer, or watch).
Just last month I went through the painstaking effort of attempting to recover such items (my backpack, notebook, and laptop), and did so successfully – discovering a shortcut to the process.
While the infamous NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) website suggests filing a report using the online 311 service, this is probably the least efficient way to find your item. They suggest reporting timing, drop-off location, etc, but this will most likely not provide results. I filed such a report, and the TLC responded 6 days later with an incorrect taxi medallion #. They also provide 13 different numbers for lost and found locations at police precincts around the city – I tried every single one, twice, to no avail. I also contacted my credit card company – they could only provide me the zip code of the transaction, leading me to try all 14 listed taxi yards in Woodside, Queens: no dice. Here's what you should do instead.
If you paid via credit card, you’re in luck!
1) Call the following 2 companies – between them, they cover transaction processing for all yellow / green NYC taxis, and will have your records:
a. Veriphone: +1-718 752 1656 (expedited NYC-focused #)
b. CMT: +1-718-937-4444
2) One of these companies will provide you the following:
a. Medallion # from the transaction
b. Managing company of the taxi and contact #
3) Call the company / contact # provided, identifying the medallion. They will put you directly in touch with the driver who has your item, and will hopefully return it to you expediently. Yay!