Need knives or golf clubs? Middletown selling items purged from police property room

A grouping of knifes is one may items currently offered for sale from Middletown Police at GovDeals.com.
A grouping of knifes is one may items currently offered for sale from Middletown Police at GovDeals.com.

Middletown is the latest Butler County jurisdiction to take advantage of auctioning unneeded items in bulk through a website used for buying government surplus.

The auction site GovDeals listed 40 items last week from Middletown including old gaming systems, weapons and even a group of flashy belt buckles and bobbles for auction. The site has made sales of more than $2.6 billion for 14,000 sellers since it started operation, it said.

40 items from the Middletown police property room are up for auction at GovDeals.
40 items from the Middletown police property room are up for auction at GovDeals.

The city has been selling surplus items, unclaimed property and even used vehicles on the site since 2005, and the most recent lot came from the ongoing organization of the property room.

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“As a public entity, we have to make sure everyone has a chance to bid on it,” said Chief David Birk.

Currently on the site is a grouping of knives, remote control airplanes, a set of golf clubs, a grouping of flashy belt buckles and jewelry, a piece of tattoo equipment, video games, video game controllers, DVDs, tools and a grouping of watches.

“I think the airplanes came from a search warrant at a pawn shop about 10 years ago. They have been there awhile,” Birk said.

With storage at a premium, items must be purged from time to time, including lost items brought to the station and items found abandoned on the street by officers on patrol. The item most often lost, found and stolen is a bicycle, which can take up a lot of storage space. Bikes in good shape are donated to kids, Birk said.

40 items from the Middletown police property room are up for auction at GovDeals.
40 items from the Middletown police property room are up for auction at GovDeals.

“There’s property that has been left here for years and years and years. We are going through the accreditation process again and part of that process really stresses the property room. So we are going though and auditing our property room this summer for items in cases that have been completed for years or items that were never claimed,” Birk said. “It is amazing what’s back there.”

Other local sellers with items available on GovDeals include Lakota Schools, the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, MetroParks of Butler County and the MidPointe Library System. Many sellers have few items listed — most often less than a dozen each.

There are more than 10,000 items available on the site. The most expensive for bid is a Cessna airplane being sold by the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property, whose bid is $1,011,000. Other top-priced items nationally include property in North Wildwood, N.J., a multi-purpose amphibious track machine in Palm Bay, Florida, and an unfinished single-family home in Concord Twp., Ohio.

Birk said GovDeals has been a success over the years, especially selling vehicles from the impound lot, many of which are not operable or in poor shape.

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Money raised from the sales go back to the general fund or the fund to run the impound lot.