Hor­sham po­lice part­ner with auc­tion site

The Willow Grove Guide - - OPINION - By Caitlin Burns

cburns@jour­nalregis­ter.com Hor­sham Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment will now auc­tion its seized and found items to a na­tion­wide au­di­ence with the help of an on­line ser­vice. The po­lice de­part­ment has joined more than 2,800 other na­tional po­lice de­part­ments and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties by sign­ing on with Prop­er­tyRoom.com to auc­tion its items. The de­part­ment joined the on­line auc­tion in Novem­ber and now will be able to stream­line the auc­tion process.

“The old fash­ioned po­lice auc­tion doesn’t work,” Prop­er­tyRoom.com Chief of Steals Pg Bel­lomo said. “It’s a very costly project.”

Now, items that are sold will be cat­a­loged by Prop­er­tyRoom.com, re­fur­bished if needed, au­then­ti­cated and opened to bids. Af­ter the bid process, which Bel­lomo said av­er­ages about three days, the items are then sent to the win­ning bid­ders. Items up for bid in­clude watches, jew­elry, coins, lap­tops, power tools and, some­times even, cars.

“We of­fer tremen­dous value and a stream­lined so­lu­tion to law en­force­ment and mu­nic­i­pal part­ners across the coun­try, as well as on­line shop­pers look­ing for great and of­ten, unique deals,” Bel­lomo said. “With this new part­ner­ship, we are de­lighted to be work­ing with the Hor­sham Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment.”

In ad­di­tion, a per­cent­age of all sales are re­turned to the po­lice de­part­ment, Bel­lomo said. So far, na­tion­wide, since its first auc- tion in Fe­bru­ary 2001, Prop­er­tyRoom.com has re­turned ap­prox­i­mately $46 mil­lion to its part­ner­ing ser­vice de­part­ments and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. Bel­lomo said the on­line auc­tion ser­vices also saves de­part­ments and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties money by host­ing the auc­tion for them. Bel­lomo said by not host­ing a tra­di­tional auc­tion and us­ing Prop­er­tyRooms.com, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and de­part­ments re­duce the cost of an auc­tion by 90 per­cent.

“We’re founded by a former po­lice de­tec­tive,” Bel­lomo said. “He knew that the old fash­ioned po­lice auc­tion didn’t work. They cost too much.”

Bel­lomo said, in the past, the money from Prop­er­tyRoom.com auc­tions has been used to pur­chase equip­ment, given to lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions and been put to­wards balancing bud­gets.

“We like to say, ‘Go to Prop­er­tyRooms. com and lower some­one’s taxes,” Bel­lomo said.

Prop­er­tyRoom.com was founded in 1999 by New York po­lice of­fi­cer and de­tec­tive Tom Lane. In Fe­bru­ary 2001 it hosted its first auc­tion. To­day, Prop­er­tyRoom.com auc­tions on av­er­age 4,000 items at any time. The site auc­tions items at all times, day or night. Most bids, whether jew­elry, com­put­ers or fine art, start at a $1 bid. Lo­cal part­ner­ships, Bel­lomo said, in­clude Al­len­town, Beth­le­hem and Read­ing. Na­tion­wide, Prop­er­tyRoom.com works with large and small mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and de­part­ments, in­clud­ing Los An­ge­les Po­lice De­part­ment and New York City Po­lice De­part­ment.

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