NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It just might be the only legal way to score a huge steal. Evidence from crimes are going on the auction block online. It’s like eBay, only hotter.
Former police detective Tom Lane came up with the idea for PropertyRoom.com and said you can find just about anything and everything for sale on the site, all starting at just $1.
“Every day we get bicycles, we get jewelry, we get electronics,” said Lane. “I have all these burglarized goods.”
The property was once considered evidence, ill-gotten goods from busted drug deals, home invasions, credit card fraud, auto theft, and even the toys and prized possessions of the criminals themselves.
“By law, the police department now has to auction if off,” Lane said.
All across the country, police departments are opening the doors to their evidence rooms, putting everything up for sale on PropertyRoom.com, where one man’s stolen watch is another man’s treasure.
Now you can bid on these items from the comfort of your own home, once the case is closed.
“Everything but the kitchen sink? It’s not true anymore. They steal the kitchen sinks,” Lane said.
Lane took CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois on a tour of the site’s East Coast warehouse in Farmingdale, N.Y., where the goods are stored until a bidder snatches them up.
DuBois saw thousands of items, from tools to musical instruments, sporting goods, china, computers, and phones. Some unexpected gems include a pair of blue topaz earrings appraised at $1,700 and a yellow diamond ring worth $17,000.
“There’s Eternity for Her from Calvin Klein, there’s Perry Ellis for men,” Lane said.
Many of the goods are brand new and brand name, like DKNY, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Nike, and even Jimmy Choo.
“That right, there I paid $11 for and it goes for about $180,” said Louis Hengber, pointing at a leaf blower.
As for the item’s criminal connection, he said it doesn’t bother him.
“Yeah, you think about it, but does it bother me? Nah,” Hengber said.
Brandon Patterson said he doesn’t give much thought to an item’s shady past either, but admitted his wife might.
“I knew somebody had it, but it’s mine now,” he said. “I don’t know if the misses would like something from here for Valentine’s Day, but if I did see something nice, I will get it.”
The auctions last for about five days. Most of the proceeds go back to the local police departments.
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