Bidders lay claim to police haul at fraction of value
UNCLAIMED items, including a rare set of gold teeth, went under the hammer this week after Townsville police cleared out their property office.
From bikes to jewellery, about 40 items went for a steal at Ross McCartin’s Auctions, with unclaimed bikes going for as little as $ 10.
But the strangest item auctioned off on Thursday was the set of gold- encrusted teeth. The chompers were part of an estate, and sold for $ 40.
“The last set of gold teeth we had was about 30 years ago,” auctioneer Jo McCartin ( below) said.
“We don’t often.
“We get a lot of items from the police and everything must be sold.”
Bicycles and are the most c o m m o n items sold at the police auction.
One bike, believed to be worth more than $ 1 0 0 0 ,
j e w e l l e r y went for just $ 80. “Sometimes you get a lot of people bidding and the bids can get quite high,” Mrs McCartin said.
“Other times you have only a few bidders and you can really get a bargain.”
A nine- carat belcher bracelet went for $ 160 and a pandora bracelet, complete with charms, sold for just $ 140.
The pandora bracelet alone retails for about $ 80, with charms costing upwards of $ 39 each. Over the years, the auctioneers have seen hundreds of unclaimed goods auctioned off including genuine diamond rings, a Rolex watch and other expensive goods.
“We get a lot of stuff from the police, from estates, from the public trustee, as we are the only ones left where people can inspect the goods rather than just going online,” Mrs McCartin said.
“It is fascinating some of the items that come in.
“You sometimes wonder about the story behind them.”
The auction house has also helped reunite owners with their lost property.
Mrs McCartin recalled peo- ple coming in to the warehouse and finding their lost bikes, an outboard motor, and rings.
“The items we get are always interesting,” she said. “And the police auctions are always unreserved so they sell to the highest bidder.
“At a recent auction we had several diamond rings ... 18carat gold diamond rings. They sold for $ 200 to $ 300, well below the cost price.”
But it doesn’t take long for the police property room to fill up again. Recovered items are auctioned off after 60 days.
Seized items are auctioned once police investigations and court proceedings are completed.