Bid­ders lay claim to po­lice haul at frac­tion of value

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SA­MAN­THA HEALY sa­man­tha. healy@ news. com. au

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 ,

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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.

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