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How To Lose $7,000 In Camera Equipment -- And Get It Back

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Photographer Dave Etchells accidentally left more than $7,000 in camera equipment at a train station in Japan - and got it all back. | Dave Etchells
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Leave a bag loaded with pricey camera equipment at most train stations, and odds are you'll never see it again. If someone doesn't take it home, an unattended bag full of electronics might be suspicious enough to shut down the station and get destroyed by police.

But a train station in Japan isn't like most train stations.

First, the trains usually show up on time. And second, as photographer Dave Etchells recently learned when he accidentally left behind $7,000 in equipment, the lost-and-found system actually works.

A call to the railroad set off a hunt for his goods. And while Etchells wasn't even sure where he had lost his bag -- on a train or at a station -- the railroad managed to locate it and return it to him the next day.

They even sent the bag to a station that would be easier for him to reach.

You can read the full story in a blog post titled, "Why I LOVE the Japanese people: How to lose $7,000 of gear and get every bit back."

"Sadly, it's almost inconceivable to me to think of any of this happening in the U.S.," wrote Etchells, an Atlanta-based photographer who runs the Imaging Resource website. "Not even it just not being stolen, but for the public transit people to be organized enough & care enough to effect its return."

In an email, Etchells admitted to being a little jaded after experiencing several thefts in America over the years. However, he said that his blog post has inspired readers to share lost-and-found stories of their own, including some that occurred in the U.S.

Do you have an unusual lost-and-found story? Share it with us below.

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