All people who find lost things should make a reasonable effort to find their rightful owners or turn the lost items over to a government ‘Lost and Found’ agency immediately. If they don’t make a reasonable effort within a reasonable length of time, they should be charged with theft.
The governments of every political jurisdiction should operate a ‘Lost and Found’ department in which people could submit and search for items that were lost within that jurisdiction. All these lost and found departments should be linked to form at least county-wide databases that people could search through.
Any person claiming to have lost an item should be required to provide additional information that only the true owner would know about that item. In addition, relevant identification information should be required of every person who physically reclaims an item so that if, by any chance, the true original loser of the item shows up to reclaim it after an impostor had already taken the item, the impostor would be able to be located and punished while the item (or compensation for it) could be given to its rightful owner.
People who come to reclaim items should be charged a small fee, maybe $10 for this service.