Roanoke police auction off unclaimed seized goods on the Internet About every other month, a PropertyRoom truck stops in Roanoke to collect seized items that cannot be returned to their owners. Those items are auctioned, with part of the proceeds being returned to the department. Roanoke police Lt. Other items that were transported by the company include a basketball, a car stereo, a television and baseball bats. Other police agencies in the area use similar Web sites to auction off seized goods. More than 1,100 agencies nationwide, including the Roanoke police and the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, use PropertyRoom's auction system. Seized or unclaimed property left in the Roanoke police locker gets sold online. This system uses less manpower than live auctions used to. Starting bid for the pink wool J. Crew blazer valued at almost $200: just $1. Pink Coach shoes to match the blazer? Bids on the designer heels also started at $1 but quickly climbed to $36. This isn't eBay or Amazon. After police hold evidence for as long as the law requires, they give it back to the owner, if possible. If not, they can destroy it or sell it. For police, it helps clear out property rooms that fill up quickly and puts an end to other time consuming methods of purging, such as organizing live auctions. Roanoke police Capt. Greg Staples, who oversees the department's property room, can remember when officers would spend up to a month preparing for a live auction. "It was just very, very labor intensive," he said. "Now, it's just the perfect system." About every other month, a PropertyRoom truck stops in Roanoke to collect items. An evidence technician bar codes the items and the driver helps load them into the truck. On Monday, PropertyRoom driver Noren Trotman made a stop at the Roanoke Police Department. He drove off with a basketball, a crowbar, a car stereo, a television, a Nintendo DS, Air Jordan shoes, a radar detector, baseball bats, tools, about 20 bicycles and more. Jewelry or other items thought to be of value are tested for authenticity, and counterfeits are thrown bred 11s out. The remaining items are photographed and put online. Bids for jewelry, laptops and most other items start at $1. Vehicles start at $100. Roanoke gets 50 percent of the profit from the online sale. In the past year and a half, the goods have brought in about $5,500, Staples said. The money goes to the city's general fund. While the inventory on sites such as PropertyRoom isn't quite as expansive as eBay or Amazon, there is no shortage of bicycles, jewelry, watches, computers and other electronics. Among the more unusual items that have been sold are a 7 foot fiberglass shark, a coffin gurney and a colonoscope.  
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