Bargain Hunters Flock To Suffolk County Police Auction

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bargain hunters descended on Suffolk County Police headquarters in Long Island Wednesday.

They were there to snatch up items being auctioned off that were seized from criminal activity.

As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports, some people are even able to furnish their entire homes at a massive discount.

Most auctions don’t have officers in uniform drumming up bids, but at the Yaphank headquarters, thrifty minded citizens bid on nearly 200 items from washing machines, to flat screen TV’s, to DVD recorders.

“The quality is hit and miss,” online electronics dealer Mark Meyer said. “Most of the electronics are old, but sometimes they can be brand new, you get lucky, you take some risks.”

As a sign at the auction states, buyers receive the auctions goods as is — often the reason why they sell at a 50-90 percent discount. The items were all seized as the result of criminal activity. Jewelry normally worth thousands of dollars can be had for a fraction of the cost.

Most of the money goes to fund the police department, but not all of it.

Commanding Officer Christopher Bergold says some of the proceeds go to the poor and county social services department.

One couple wanted the most unusual item up for grabs — an old highway cement roller they’d use for their home repair business. They say they buy everything they need at these auctions.

“The kids have had bicycles for every year up until now,” Eastport resident Tatiana Barrios said. “They’re six and eight, so they’re a little bit spoiled. But, everything, microwaves, portable air conditioners, TV’s for every room, we’ve kind of outfitted the whole house.”

Bikes are one of the hottest items at the auction. Good-hearted Brentwood resident Michael Johnson took home several he plans to give away.

“Just, you know, buy some stuff and donate it to the community, to the kids that need help with bikes and stuff,” he said.

As for the department, they say it’s a way to turn a crime into bargain time for solid citizens. The next auction will feature vehicles of all kind on Saturday March 25th in Westhampton.

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