Hays County will hire evidence tech to help sort lost flood items

Damaged trees following flooding in Central Texas

SAN MARCOS (KXAN) —  On Tuesday, the Hays County Commissioners voted to hire a temporary evidence technician to help process property found along the Blanco and San Marcos River during the Memorial Weekend flood

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Dustin New, a Wimberley native who created the Wimberley Flood Lost and Found Facebook page. “People kept asking us,‘where are you taking all this stuff,’ they assumed we were collecting it, but unfortunately we don’t have a warehouse or anywhere we can take it, so I think it’s a great idea and a great thing to do.”

New said dozens of families have been reconnected to family heirlooms, property and other important property through the Facebook page. People will post a picture of what they find in hopes someone will recognize it.

Kharley Smith, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Hays County, said they want to streamline a way for people to safely retrieve property.

“It’s not a pressing need, there’s not an outcry about not having a person available to collect found property, but we anticipate, with the water dropping and more people exploring, more property will be located,” said Smith.

The county said it’s aware many citizens and businesses have collected property and stored it so rightful owners can retrieve it some how.

Smith said having a temporary evidence technician will help centralize all the lost items in one spot so they can catalog and process property.

County officials said another reason for hiring someone through the county is to make sure people are not scammed.

“There are good citizens out there collecting things and posting pictures but there are people who will try and profit off of that and we don’t want people to be put in an uncomfortable situation,” said Smith.

The temporary position will be posted on Wednesday and will be an extension of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith said they are eager to fill the position which will be hourly and for a couple months or however long there is a demand.

Smith said they’re still working on finding a location to store the items and hope to be up and running a few weeks.

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