There’s nothing like the thrill of a live action. Add the chance to find a real bargain and live auctions take on a whole new meaning. Police auctions have some of the best deals around. They also have some of the strangest items to hit the auction block. According to the experts at Seized Assets Auctioneers, many of those odd items have fascinating stories to tell. Let’s take a look at a few of the weirdest.
Anchorage’s Curious Evidence Locker
Anchorage police have a reputation for holding strange auctions. Past auctions have included such oddities as a brand new wood splitter, a large snowplow and a kayak. The police in Anchorage empty the evidence locker and lost and found drawers every few months and auction the contents to the general public. Much of the inventory comes from unclaimed property. Some items come from forfeited assets in criminal cases. However they end up there, strange items invariably appear.
Guns were big at a recent Anchorage police auction. Smith & Wesson revolvers, a German military luger and several .22 caliber pistols grabbed the attention of gun dealers. The German luger, which was a collectible, was sold through the police agency’s online live auction for $925.
Among the guns, knick-knacks, jewelry and other usual police auction pieces were a couple of surprises. A batch of gold-plated coins with a label that said “In memory of Titanic victims” aroused the curiosity of many. Others wondered how a pink iPod ended up at the police auction. Sadly, the officers didn’t know the story behind either the coins or the iPod. Their origins remain unknown.
In June 2013, the police department in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, had their own collection of strange items up for auction. Included were unclaimed confiscated items, such as a bin of 632 Hershey chocolate bars, a flute and a toothbrush. About 100 bicycles were at the warehouse to auctioned as well. Bicycles are fairly common at police auctions but bidder John O’Rourke was shocked at what he saw. O’Rourke was looking for the best bicycle to bid on to replace his wife’s stolen bike. Instead, he found his wife’s stolen bike in the group to be auctioned. Police pulled the distinctive looking bicycle out of the pile and released it back to the rightful owners. Officials say it’s not the first time property owners discovered their own stolen items at auction.
East London is the scene of a biweekly police auction that combines confiscated and no longer needed evidence items from the Metropolitan and city of London forces. Proceeds go to victim recovery efforts and other charitable community initiatives. Among the usual cars and bicycles, bidders can and often do, bid on broken light fixtures, bags of clothes and suitcases that are past their prime.
Once in awhile, bidders go home with a piece of criminal history, knowingly or not. One such bidder left with a safe full of bullets. Another took a car home and began restoring it to its former glory. He lifted the upholstery from the back seat and found live ammunition.