Seattle chef reunited with prized shears seized by TSA

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 17 at 7:56 PM

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Maxime Bilet figured he'd never see his prized chef shears again.

"I just hoped that someone else would use them properly, whatever that meant," Bilet remembers thinking when he handed over the scissors to a TSA agent earlier this year.

He forgot to pack them in his checked luggage.

"It was a sad moment," said Bilet, who got the shears from a friend in 2010.

But last week he got a message on his Facebook page letting him know the scissors had been found.

"I noticed the engraving and thought that's really a unique name," said Shelley Swetlow.

Swetlow is a customer service agent at the state's surplus warehouse.

The state's Department of Enterprise Services sells all the items seized by TSA agents at airports in Washington.

Most of the items are souvenir corkscrews and Swiss army knives, but if Swetlow sees something with a name on it, she'll try to track down the owner.

Bilet's unique name made finding him easy, said Swetlow.

It took Bilet about 10 days to respond to the facebook message.

"It was so exciting. I was so thrilled," said Swetlow who said it's rare for her to connect an item with its owner.

While the shears were a gift, Bilet uses them all the time in his Art for Food storefront in downtown Seattle.

"The kindness of the people that made it possible for me to get them back was, to me, the most essential part," said Bilet.

For more information on the state's public surplus warehouse, click here for the website.

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