ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Looking for a steal? When the Albuquerque Police Department bust thieves around town, they sell all the unclaimed stolen goods on a site similar to eBay.
APD’s evidence room is a 15,000 square-foot space holding hundreds of stolen items. Items in the room that remain unclaimed after 90 days could end up on propertyroom.com.
“We sent out just basically a semi-truck full out to propertyroom.com for the next upcoming auction,” said Tanner Tixier, Public Information Officer for the Albuquerque Police Department.
Tixier said the police department used to hold local auctions, but the events never brought in enough revenue.
“When you do something like propertyroom.com you’re not just hitting your local market, you’re hitting a world-wide market, which will drive up the cost for people willing to pay for stuff,” said Tixier.
Anyone can bid on stolen items from police departments across the United States. When people buy items online from APD, the money goes back to a general fund for the city.
“All the expenses are paid for by propertyroom.com and we get all the money,” said Tixier. “It’s kind of a win win.”
The website brings the City of Albuquerque $30,000 to $50,000 a year.
There’s tons of deals on the site. Some items start at a dollar.
In APD’s room alone, there’s everything from snow boards, purses, and televisions. If all of those recently confiscated items are left unclaimed, it could hit the site.
“It’s a revenue generator,” said Tixier.
Tixier said sometimes they’re even surprised by the hidden treasures that bidders find.
“There was an old antique style camera lens that most people had no idea what is was, it looked like it was maybe worth 20 dollars and sold for thousands, because it was worth thousands of dollars,” said Tixier.
Overall, the site is a place where someone’s loss can be another’s gain.