Police auction gives stolen and abandoned items new life

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The thrill of being the highest bid, knowing when it's the chance to strike, and finding the best deal is all part of the Kearney Police Department auction.

“Oh yeah it gets your adrenaline going,” Auction Bidder Robert Jacobsen said.

The cars, tools, and even toys are all left over from robberies, were abandoned, or were never claimed. The police department sees some unique things go through their evidence storage.

“It's funny because we do surplus auction for the city so other departments usually bring stuff,” Property and Evidence Specialist Dennis Hill said. “One of the niftiest items I think probably bummed out all the kids but we sold Santa's workshop.”

Police try to find the owners, but some of the abandoned items or stolen items are never reported. Most of Saturday’s smaller sales are from workplace robberies from 2016.

The public turns out to get cheap tools or maybe a new set of wheels. They whisper to themselves saying they heard something came from a drug bust or some other exciting police activity.

“Oh yeah I ask questions a lot,” Jacobsen said. “It's just kind of fun to see where they come from and how they got them.”

About $10-15,000 is usually raised from the auction. That money goes straight into the city general fund.

The department is glad to be rid of a lot of the stuff and many walk away with lots of new treasures.