There are no hoops to get through with Apple, they will not help you. Apart from anything else, were Apple to give you details of the owner (so that you could contact that person), they would be giving you someone else's personal information. In many areas of the world, that is against the law. Even if it's not against the law in your country, the owner might live in a country where it is illegal.
If you have legitimate access to a Lost and Found office, then you should already be aware of your office's accepted procedure for dealing with found items. You should be following that.
As the iPod is locked, the chances of your office finding the owner are remote. The usual practice of waiting for the owner to contact you is the only option. If your documented claim time for owners to find you has expired, then simply dispose of the iPod. Even though it is locked, my personal opinion is that the iPod should be mechanically destroyed beyond recoverable use since it may still have personal information on it (which is presumably why the owner used the lock procedure).