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Time to play detective, find owners of camera

By NICK JOHNSON, Times Staff Writer
Published November 21, 2007


TREASURE ISLAND - We're bound to eventually lose something - whether it's an umbrella left in a taxicab, sunglasses or maybe loose change that rolls out of a pocket.

Some people don't think twice about keeping the found item, but others are determined to return their findings to therightful owner.

Roy Lamken, 59, is just that type of person. While going home to Lowell, Ind., after an annual trip to Virginia, Lamken made his find: a Kodak Easyshare digital camera.

It was the last Monday in July on Amtrak train No. 50. Lamken was traveling from Covington, Va., with his granddaughter; the camera was wedged between their seats.

The pictures on the camera documented the owner's trip. They had been to Washington, D.C., West Virginia and a beach resort. There were photos of a bridge that was under construction.

Lamken zoomed in on a photo taken at the beach. There was a sign that read: "Reserved for Island Inn Beach Resort guests."

Lamken searched online and found the Island Inn Beach Resort in Treasure Island.

"I'd been to Treasure Island before but I didn't realize they had built a new bridge there, and I was trying to figure out what these construction pictures were," he said. Coverage of the Treasure Island Bridge's grand opening helped clear up the mystery photos.

Earlier he had tried to track down the owner through Amtrak with no luck; he kept getting stuck in the automated system. Next, Lamken contacted Kodak, only to find that the camera hadn't been registered.

Lamken's last step was an e-mail to the St. Petersburg Times. "Once I realized where the pictures were I figured I would try doing that because I knew they'd sure like to have their pictures and theircamera back."

Some photos looked like they were taken in the back yard of a Treasure Island home. The hotels along the beach can be seen in the distance.

Linda Lamken, Roy's wife, said they both know how important family photos can be. He takes plenty every year on trips to visit friends in Covington, and she adds them to her scrapbooks.

"We really wanted to find those people," Linda said. "You can't replace pictures. I've often told Roy that if the house ever caught on fire, the things I would grab are my scrapbooks."

Nick Johnson can be reached at or 893-8361.

Fast facts

Looking for clues

Have any ideas about the possible owner? Roy Lamken can be contacted by e-mail at

[Last modified November 20, 2007, 20:32:14]

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