Seized assets, stolen property or items nobody claims, and obsolete Sheriff equipment is all on display for sealed bids to be placed Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Monroe County Sheriff’s office headquarters in Key West. Buyers could get a steal or it could be a case of caveat emptor (buyer beware).
“We do not get the merchandise checked out before bidding in most cases,” said Deputy Becky Herrin, head of the offices public and media relations. “For example we are auctioning off yellow chains. We are not sure if they are gold.”
The list of items varies tremendously from a 2004 retired police cruiser (a Crown Vic model with nearly 100,000 hard miles) to pocket knives and cork screws. One list consists of 108 lower ticket items including televisions, jewelry, radar devices, coins, and more while the other has 21 larger ticket machines including SUVs, retired police cars, jet-skis, boats, and a 115 horsepower engine that may or may not work.
“We set a low starting price so we can be flexible and people can get good deals,” said Herrin.
There will be seasoned professionals at auction buying in attendance.
“There is going to be people there with experience in the auction business like any other auction,” said Herrin. “It really depends on the item.”
The money raised is split between various funds.
“Proceeds from the sale of our property goes to the county general fund. Money from items forfeited in criminal cases goes into the Law Enforcement Trust Fund and property from lost or abandoned property goes to the State School Fund.”
Although the Monroe County Sheriffs Office had an auction earlier this year in April, organizers expect this one to raise more money, comparable to the chunk of changed raised at last year’s December event.
“We raised $25,984.85 last year to go to the general fund and $601 went to the LETF,” said Herrin.
Don’t expect an auctioneer. Bidders turn in sealed envelopes that are opened later. The item goes to the highest bidder. Cash, cashier’s check, and money orders are the only form of payment and there are no warranties on anything.
The merchandise can be inspected Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. and on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sheriff’s headquarters on Stock Island (look for signs). The outboard can be viewed at the Sheriff’s aviation hanger in Marathon on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Bids must be received no later than 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10. They may be delivered in person or mailed to the Monroe County Sheriff Office Finance Division, at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Headquarters, 5525 College Road, Stock Island, Key West, Florida 33040.